Email Security Intelligence - Emerging Phone Scams Capable of Evading Email Security

The last decade has seen the evolution of mobile phones as they have increased in capabilities. Smartphones have endless uses for calling, texting, video chatting, and capturing 4k photos. Nearly everyone has a phone since it can pose as a mobile desktop for allowing access to the internet, banking, emailing, and more. Unfortunately, this dependence on phones has made them a more popular target for cybercriminals.

Public Wi-Fi networks typically warn you about the danger of connecting to a non-private internet server. Threat actors use these SMS cellular networks to formulate targeted mobile phone scams and steal login credentials and money from user devices. This article will discuss phone scam email threats, how to recognize an attack, and a real-life example to know.

How Does a Phone Scam Attack Work?

Over ninety percent of modern phone scams begin with an email. These email threats use social engineering attack techniques that trick users into trusting a threat actor, which is how cybercriminals gain access to confidential information. Scammers will pretend to be a legitimate company by using that business name and logo to send victims a more believable phishing email attack. Then, a recipient can call a phone number included in the spoofed email, and the threat actor takes the login credentials and sensitive data and uses them to hack a system.

For example, scammers can email potential victims with order information and confirmation numbers. The message's privacy policy and unsubscribe buttons will have malicious links attached, but they will appear believable to unsuspecting viewers, who provide information about a fake order and confirmation number. When you open these malicious emails and input personal data, threat actors utilize that information to enter your server and cause severe harm.

We must consider how hackers can surpass email filters since modern-day email security technologies focus on advanced threat protection for businesses, as preventing phishing and scams is more crucial now than ever. The ever-changing landscape of the internet gives scammers more opportunities for attack each day. Cybercriminals can attach malicious PDFs, PNGs, and JPEGs to a message to get past email filters, as users cannot access embedded, malicious information in documents and images until they open the file itself, permitting the attack even though the email might appear trustworthy at first. Innovative email security technologies are advancing to catch these stealthy techniques, but users should all learn how to notice and stop phishing emails and scams through proper inspection. 

How Should I Recognize and Handle Phone Scams?

It is unreasonable to consider inspecting every email and phone call you get in a day, but you still must do what you can to detect these email threats before it is too late. There was a twenty-two percent increase in phone scam financial loss in the last two years, and sixty percent of those attacks were made through automated dialing or robocalls. Let's review several ways to ensure phishing protection when looking at your emails:

  • Avoid responding to calls from unknown numbers: Save any number from whom you are expecting to hear, whether that is for an interview or other necessity so that you can answer with the confidence that you can trust the other end of the line.
  • Approach odd numbers cautiously: Scammers will use spoofed phone numbers with matching area codes to make you more inclined to pick up the call. If you do not recognize the number, regardless of if the area code matches, ignore it.
  • Proceed slowly: Cybercriminals will speak urgently to get users to move quickly and without thought, which is how so many attacks succeed. Answer phone calls, understanding that you can decide how to proceed once you hang up and do not need to find a solution immediately.
  • Be wary of information requests: Trustworthy companies, like AT&T, the IRS, and other well-known organizations, will never ask for confidential information over the phone and will not demand a payment or payment method.
  • Install antivirus scanners and malware protection: Such practices prevent basic attacks from entering your inbox and allow you to fall for a scam.
  • Hold email security awareness programs: Employees must know the risks they might face in the work field, so holding events, training, and programs about the latest phishing emails and threat types is essential to preparing your business to maintain safety.

Understanding these common tactics for attack is critical to keeping email secure and your business productive. Engage in these best practices for email security and general mobile threat protection to lower employee chances of being the next victim of an attack.

What is a Modern-Day Example of a Successful Phone Scam?

Around Black Friday 2022, a New York woman in Spring Valley fell for one of these phishing campaigns over the phone. She received a spoofed email that appeared to come from Best Buy's Geek Squad computer repair service. The spear phishing emails looked believable since the contents included invoice numbers, product codes, customer IDs, and package information. When they contacted her, they explained they had accidentally put forty thousand dollars in her account and needed her to request that her bank refund it to the business. She transferred the money, thinking little of the encounter, only to discover it was a scam.

The Spring Valley Police Department said tracking the scammers following the payment was impossible. Such an attack highlights the necessity of avoiding these potential email threats since recovering the losses is usually unsuccessful.

Keep Learning About Protecting Against Phone Scams

Knowing the latest malicious emails and trends is crucial to preventing phishing scams from compromising your information. Companies must prioritize web and email security including email authentication to stop phishing emails and scammers from overtaking a database and controlling all your data.

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