COVID-19 has brought a fair deal of challenges for all the industries worldwide. Many companies, including financial institutions and banks, have turned to their online infrastructure for conducting business.
The United Nations has already issued a warning that the coronavirus pandemic poses a threat to online security. In fact, according to the disarmament chief of the United Nations Izumi Nakamitsu, since the pandemic outbreak, there has been a 600% increase in malicious email attacks.
Additionally, there has been an increase in cybercrime or hacking attempts against medical research facilities and health care organizations worldwide. That’s why it’s imperative that you and your company know the best ways to protect your business from fraud during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Do Your Research
While small and large businesses have always been a target of cyber attackers, the COVID-19 pandemic has made them even more vulnerable to fraudulent attempts. When you consider the recent uptick in digital presence due to quarantine, fraudsters have found a new opportunity to blend in and slip passed less secure business systems.
Here are some ways fraudsters have been scamming businesses:
A phishing scam can be a text message or an email that tricks you into providing your personal information to a criminal group unknowingly. It may prompt you to download software, click a link, open an attachment, or enter your personal information via online form.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has issued a warning for companies to be wary of unwarranted emails from companies masquerading as the CDC or other government organizations seeking donations or personal information.
Business Email Scams
Business email scams can also be known as BECs or “business email compromise frauds.” These emails generally appear as legitimate personal information requests. These emails replicate a message pretending to be a company’s CEO or a “higher up”, with an accurate email address or phone number. Uninformed employees may find themselves on the wrong end of a fraudulent attack.
Therefore, employees will need to stay alert about any emergency information requests by their bosses, managers, or owners of the company.
Every time you call or answer a call on your phone, and hear a robotic recorded message, it is a robocall which are usually illegal scams. In March, FTC reported a huge spike in robocalls related to coronavirus resulting in Americans losing more than $13.4 million.
During this time, consumers and businesses alike should be more cautious of robocallers and do their due diligence before sharing personal information.
Fake Charity Scams
The U.S Department of Justice has already issued a warning about a spike in social media scams and fraudulent calls by fake and non-existent charities asking for donations. These scammers usually ask you to click a link, download a file, or enter your bank information, etc.
These fake charities will most likely use names and tools similar to legit charities. So, do your research before your business makes any donations.
IT and Data Scams
Cybercriminals are perfectly aware that corporate networks are currently vulnerable because employees are working remotely. Therefore, it becomes increasingly important to educate your employees about cybersecurity.
Similar to BEC fraud, some hackers may act as IT administrators asking for personal information, password, and security questions to confirm your identity. Beware of such attempts and do not give out any information so you can avoid possible identity theft.
Many businesses compete for the same supplies; therefore, be watchful of these supply scams. Some fake companies are targeting business teams and executives to purchase PPE from a non-traditional or an unknown supplier.
Fake websites are mimicking to be legit online retailers. They want you to place an order and enter your credit card information to process the payment.
Credit Card Scams
Credit card fraud can take several forms each with different complexities to navigate as a company. Between synthetic identities and stolen identities, credit card fraud can be relatively easy to surpass especially with the current shift towards online applications.
There’s no easy way to prevent this once a credit card application has been approved. That’s why many companies have instituted an ID checking solution, such as Intellicheck, to prevent fraudsters from bypassing surface-level security measures.
Watch for Red Flags
There are some other signs of fraud that you will want to be aware of and address when they arise. Here are some things to keep in mind:
Emails from suspicious domains
Emails from people you do not recognize or request
Requests for personal information
Be suspicious of surprisingly large purchases especially from new in-store credit cards
Stay cautious of any individual requesting authentication multiple times
Beware of online credit card application forms, as they are easiest for fakes to slip through.
Beware of fake updates and news on coronavirus
Online tax filing scams
Integrate an ID Authentication Software
One of the most common fraudulent activities seen is online credit card and loan applications. It can be challenging to authenticate an identity when you cannot see the ID user in person.
You have no fingerprints to scan, no face to match with the ID, or ask questions in person to see if the person is telling the truth or faking. This is where a remote ID authentication service such as Intellicheck can protect your business from fraud.
Our straightforward process is customizable and easily integrated into your existing security system and can be adjusted to work in a remote environment with four simple steps to authenticate the ID:
Have your customers upload a photo of their ID
Scan ID with Intellicheck
Receive confirmation of identity within a few seconds of uploading
Proceed with the application or reject it.
Intellicheck is the trusted ID authentication of companies and institutions nationwide including law enforcement agencies, state ID producers, and financial institutions. Intellicheck’s ID authentication solution is the most effective method of catching fake IDs in real-time with the highest possible accuracy (greater than 99%!).