With more people working remotely due to the Covid-19 pandemic, more business transactions are also being carried out online. Unfortunately, many of these transactions are being conducted from homes instead of offices. With fewer security measures in place, this has meant more businesses and employees are falling foul of fraudsters.
Already, there have been hundreds of reports from businesses related to an upsurge in attempted fraud and the appearance of new scams relating to Covid-19. Businesses are losing millions due to cybercrime and other types of fraud during the pandemic. Here’s what to look out for and what steps you can take to protect your business.
Where is your Coronavirus advice coming from?
Phishing is on the increase as scammers send out mass emails claiming to be from government or medical organisations. While these emails claim to be offering advice and information on coronavirus, they are usually an attempt to obtain personal data and information.
Typically, this is done through a request to click on a link, download an attachment or confirm login details for online services. Theses attachments and downloads can install key–loggers or ransomware on computers allowing cybercriminals to access data and take control of your PC.
The solution is never to respond to emails requesting personal data. Legitimate agencies won’t request such information by email. Look out for typos and grammatical errors that are also tell-tale signs that these emails are not genuine.
Secure your communications
Working from home, most employees don’t have the same security infrastructure in place as found in office networks. In addition, many cybercriminals are looking to exploit vulnerabilities in commonly used business video-conferencing applications. Zoom and Microsoft have reported that users are being messaged and asked to download malicious files through their video apps.
To reduce the chance of being hacked, it’s important that home workers are provided with training to configure security settings on communication apps correctly, along with suitable firewall and malware software to keep cybercriminals at bay.
Invoicing scams were commonplace before Covid-19, but police and fraud agencies are now warning that there has been an increasing number of cases of invoice redirection coming to light during the pandemic. This is when a business receives a fake email claiming to be from an existing supplier, notifying a change of bank details in the hope that the company will send future payments to a bank account of the scammer’s choosing.
Again, preventing invoice redirection scams is all about staff training and putting effective protocols in place. Employees must be instructed to double-check any change in bank details over the phone before making a payment. Never reply to a suspicious email and do not click on any links. A good payment solutions provider, such as KoalaPays, will have other security mechanisms in place to prevent this type of fraud occurring.
Fake suppliers and counterfeit goods
Covid-19 has meant a huge upsurge in demand for PPE and disinfectant/cleaning products. Here, the scammers set up fake websites, sometimes imitating the sites of genuine sellers, advertising products for sale, take payments, but never deliver the goods. Alternatively, they buy in cheap, defective and counterfeit goods and sell them to customers at inflated prices.
Firms looking for these products should research suppliers thoroughly and only deal with reputable businesses that have good customer relationships already. New companies should be fully vetted before any purchases are made.
Another way that businesses can protect themselves against all types of fraud is to partner with a payment solutions provider that makes security a priority. KoalaPays’ platform is fully PCI-compliant and we use the latest fraud prevention technology to do everything we can to protect our clients from scammers.