Scam Emails On The Rise

 

Scam emails are getting more ingenious all the time. Currently there is an email circulating that we have seen many of our clients receive, purportedly from Microsoft, concerning their exchange accounts. These like similar emails claim that your account has suspicious activity, has been breached, or is about to be deactivated and asks you to click a link or call a phone number to resolve the issue. The number one way that credentials get leaked from a business is through an end-user interacting with one of these emails, and they can be very convincing and frightening.

Why do these emails exist? Gaining access to your email account is like getting keys to your castle–aka your business. Your email is a central hub for everything you do and access and has the power to reset passwords for your bank accounts and cloud storage, access to all of your clients, and often times contains plain text identity information from birth days to social security numbers in past emails.

Common types of malicious emails

Scam emails claiming to be from Microsoft, Google, Yahoo, and other trusted online brand names

Lottery scams claiming you have won big but only have a short time to claim your prize

Scare emails that claim there is something wrong with your system or account and you need to act now to save everything

How to spot a malicious email?

Check the physical email address of who sent it. MicrosoftSupportEngineer@hotmail.com or GoogleHelp@random.co.com would both be malicious. Always observe the domain (@microsoft.com instead of @hotmail.com or @techsupport123.uk.co) that the email is sent from and ensure it matches up with who they claim to be from.

Messages with urgency intended to alarm you into quick action

Promises of money with little or no effort

Deals that sound too good to be true

Requesting donations related to recent news stories

Bad grammar or misspellings

Unexpected emails from people you know, sometimes indicating they themselves had had their accounts breached

Train your eye to spot the telltale signs of fake emails to protect your business. In addition to knowledge, steps should be taken to minimize how often these emails reach you and your employees. This can be accomplished with a business level firewall, business email provider such as Microsoft Exchange, and proper security settings on your email server. We can assist you with all of these aspects and more, so feel free to give a call or email for a free assessment of your IT systems.

 

Christina Grady is the founder and owner of Occubit Technology Solutions. She has been fascinated by the role technology plays in everyday life since she was a child taking apart VCR's and remote control cars. Her passion for helping others creates a perfect bond with her IT background.

More from our blog

See all posts