The criminals who launch phishing attacks are relentless in their pursuit to disguise their message. The latest such effort uses a notice for a new voice mail message to get you to click on it.
The Better Business Bureau (BBB) just sent a scam alert warning businesses to not click on these phony office emails notifications for new voice mail messages. The BBB said the voicemail messages are so convincing, its staff was almost fooled by the scam.
If the BBB almost fell for it, you can imagine busy small business owners also falling for the scam. And this is what phishing scammers rely on. The hope you will be too busy to scrutinize the email messages you receive.
The Voicemail Message Scam
It starts with unsolicited email notification for a new voicemail from your Office 365 account or another office software.
The BBB says the email looks legitimate because of the images and text in the body of the email. They said the email comes with official software logo along with text stating the message comes from a “trusted source.”
The scammers take the con a step further by adding additional content in the email. According to the BBB, some versions of the emails have a portion of the voicemail transcribed in the email.
“Please contact me ASAP about…” is one of the examples. Even if you’re not 100% sure, this information might be enough to get you to click on the attachment. And once you click the link, it will download malware into your computer or redirect you to a fake form.
Phishing attacks rely on you being busy and not scrutinizing your emails before you open them.
Scrutinize Your Emails
You’ve probably heard this before, but scammers rely on complacency. If you’re not alert and proactive in protecting your business from cyber attacks, you’ll fall prey to these scams.
Phishing scammers know when to send these emails. If you’re a business they’ll choose specific hours and days of the month to make sure they arrive when you are the busiest.
So how do you stop phishing attacks on their tracks? Don’t open an email if you do not know the sender. At the very least, don’t open them right away. If you have any doubts wait until you have more time and go on from there.
The BBB also recommends to:
- Be cautious of unsolicited emails. If you’ve never opted into receiving email alerts from a company or software product, be wary of them.
- Never click on links in emails from strangers. If you don’t know who the email came from, don’t click on the links in their message. Even links that seem harmless can download malware onto your computer.
- Log into professional accounts directly instead of via email. If you aren’t sure if a message you receive is real, log in directly to your account to check instead of clicking on links in an email.
You can go to the BBB.org/SmallBusiness page to learn more about scams which directly affect small businesses.
Another valuable resource is the BBB Scam Tracker, which shows you the latest reported scams across the U.S. The interactive map lets you zoom in so you can see what is taking place in each state, county, and city.
This is a static image of the map and scams.
This platform works because businesses report scams as soon as they hear about them or they fall victim to them.
The BBB encourages businesses to report these scams. If no one reports them, they will ruin the lives of more other hard-working business owners. Even the largest of corporations get duped by these scams, so there is no need to feel any shame.