Monthly Archives: December 2018

The Technology Blog

CEO Fraud Scams And Why They Are Successful

By | Business Network Security, Email, Scams | No Comments

CEO Fraud Scams And Why They Are Successful

Everyone want to keep the boss happy. Staying in their good-graces means promotions, job security and, usually, a stress-free work environment. When an email comes through from the boss marked “Urgent” our hearts race and we play through different scenarios before we even read it. Turns out they’re extremely busy and need our help getting something done. Perfect, a chance to prove how valuable we are! In today’s world of sophisticated cyber fraud this scenario is ending poorly for more and more businesses.

CEO-Fraud-Scams-And-Why-They-Are-Successful

CEO Fraud Scams And Why They Are Successful

Why CEO Fraud Scams Are So Successful

CEO Fraud Scams, also known as CFO Fraud Scams or Business Email Compromise Scams (or BEC), are a type of cyber phishing scam performed by sophisticated cyber criminals that are skilled in social engineering tactics. Just two months ago, November of 2018, it was reported that the European cinema chain Pathé had fallen victim to a BEC scam that cost them over 19 million euros! That’s roughly $21.5 million U.S.! In the case of Pathé, cyber criminals impersonated company headquarter officials and convinced the CEO and CFO of their Dutch branch to transfer the funds over a series of money transfers. You may be asking yourself, how could business or upper management fall for such a scam? Well, the cyber criminals had done their research and had even created emails that almost exactly resembled the official Pathé domain. And, they did they used social engineering and convinced the Dutch branch CEO and CFO that the funds were for a confidential acquisition and that they couldn’t discuss the transfer with anybody in the company.

This is an extreme example of a CEO Fraud or BEC scam, but it shows the extent to which fraudsters and cyber criminals will go and the tactics they use to get at your business. Cyber criminals research, plan, impersonate upper-level management.

Don’t Become A Victim of CEO Fraud Scams

With over $12 billion dollars (FBI global estimate), odds are you and your business will be the target of a BEC scam. Protecting your business is a must! Developing IT security strategies for business is our specialty. Contact Us discuss implementing a plan to protect your business from advanced cyber security threats.

How To Avoid Fake Warrant Scams

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There’s A Warrant For Your Arrest!

The other day I received a call from an unknown number and let it go to voicemail. With all the political and scam phone calls lately it’s become my standard practice. It’s easier to listen to the voicemail. This time, however, the voicemail was quite disturbing and left me calling my local sheriff’s office. The caller claimed to be with my local sheriff’s department and that there was a warrant for my arrest! Luckily, after calling my local sheriff’s office, it turned out to be a malicious scam.

How-To-Avoid-Fake-Warrant-Scams

How To Avoid Fake Warrant Scams

How The Warrant Scam Works

Sadly, these types of threatening phone call scams are becoming everyday occurrences. What’s even worse about Warrant Scams is that scammers and criminals typically target specific groups of individuals: the elderly, recent immigrants, people whose second language is English, and persons with past convictions.

The caller identifies themself as someone with your local sheriff’s office or police department. They may have a false badge number or other fake info to make it sound official. They then tell you that they are calling you because there is a warrant for your arrest due to a minor charge such as missing a Jury Duty summons. Now that they have you legitimately worried, they will tell you they are authorized to handle the matter in two ways, “Criminally” and “Civilly.” “Criminally” means they will come and arrest you at your home or workplace, which no one wants. “Civilly” means they will forego criminal charges if you pay a fine. Now that they’ve fooled you, they ask you to purchase a prepaid debit card and provide you with a number to call back in order to process your payment.

How To Avoid Fake Warrant Scams

The best way to avoid warrant scams and to not be a victim of scammers is to know that Sheriff’s Offices, Police Departments and Law Enforcement Agencies will not ask or demand payments to avoid arrest! If you receive a phone call from someone claiming to be with law enforcement demanding payment get as much information from the caller then call your local police department or sheriff’s office it report it or simply hang up!

Remember, scammers are criminals. Even if they know you are on to them, they will use intimidation tactics to get you to comply or give them your personal information. When receiving any unsolicited phone call, if you are suspicious of the caller in anyway, hang up and call the business, banking institution or law enforcement agency directly. It’s better to be safe than sorry!

Cardless ATM Banking Scam

By | Email, Scams | No Comments

Cardless ATM Banking Scam

During the holiday shopping season we’re thinking about finding the perfect gift. When we do find the perfect gift for that special someone, whether online or in a store, we don’t need the experience ruined by our credit or debit card not working. Scammers and fraudsters know it too and they’re not taking the holiday season off!

Cardless-ATM-Banking-Scam

Cardless ATM Banking Scam

Scammers Use Fake Mobile Banking Alerts

Many of us, myself included, use mobile banking apps to quickly, easily and safely access our banking account information. So what do you do when you get a text or email saying your account has been “locked” with instructions to “unlock” it? Scammers are using this type of banking alert scam to rob unsuspecting victims at an alarming rate. So, before you begin to panic, take a deep breath and call your bank or credit union directly. Don’t use the number provided or click on any links in the text or email!

How Banking Scams Work

The first step the scammer takes is to convince you that your account is locked with an official looking text or email. Once you take the bait, they ask you to confirm your bank account and debit card information either on a fraudulent site (a website that they have created and appears to be your banks official site) or over the phone with a number they provide you. They ask you to confirm your card numbers, account numbers, passwords, PIN numbers, security questions and your personally identifiable information. After they have all your information they use it to withdraw money from Cardless ATMs. In some cases completely draining your accounts!

What Are Cardless ATMs?

Like the name implies, Cardless ATMs are ATMs that don’t require the user to use their debit or credit card to access their account and withdraw money. They aren’t common throughout the United States, but most larger banks and financial institutions are using them in more and more locations. While they are secure, no financial institution would knowingly use a risky device, scammers will always find a way to exploit new technology.

Avoiding Bank Scams

The best way to avoid these types of scams is to know what your bank or financial institution’s policies are. Know why your account would be locked, i.e. too many failed login attempts or suspicious account activity, and how they go about contacting you. If you do receive an email, text or phone call from someone claiming to be from your bank hang up or ignore it, then contact your bank directly.