Accounting Professionals: Don’t Take the Phishing Bait!

There are so many positive things that we get from a world filled with technology. There are all pitfalls to watch out for, too. Phishing scams are on the rise, so you need to train your employees on how not to take the bait. There are a variety of phishing tactics to avoid, and you can even educate your clients and prevent bigger issues.

What is Phishing

Phishing is a particularly insidious cybercrime that positions itself as a legitimate communication only to lure in targets. Individuals or groups are contacted via email, phone, or text. The messages appear to come from a familiar institution that you may already trust. The idea is to convince the target to provide sensitive private information such as passwords, banking info, or credit card details.

Fake Fax or Purchase Order

If you’ve ever worked within an office, you’ve probably been targeted for this one. It can happen via email or even over the phone. Someone poses as a company, often one that services your printer or copy machine, and needs you to provide your credit card information for a purchase order. To avoid problems, train your team to refer these calls to management or purchasing. If it comes as an email, simply ignore it and never click on any links.

Portal Logins that Look Real

Another troubling phishing scam is one that passes itself off as a website or service that you use frequently. You may get an email or a text message with a link to what they describe as a portal that requires your login. Never click that link. If you have a concern about the information, go immediately to the direct website of that service and login as usual.

Emails from A Contact

Many people are also familiar with suspicious emails or private messages that come from direct contacts. When you get spam from your friends, this is generally the result of a spoofed or hacked email. It can be even more disturbing when that email is someone in your office or even yourself. It’s hard to know the difference, but hacked email does mean someone else has managed to log into the account and is sending emails. Spoofed means someone is essentially forging the “from” line in the email. This may be a bigger issue than just a phishing scam, so you need to train your employees to contact you and tech support immediately.

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