Phishing scams on the rise during pandemic

Cyber criminals constantly look for ways to make money, and scamming people with phishing emails is very profitable. For these criminals, information is money, and emergency situations — like the current pandemic — provide opportunity.

How to spot a phishing scam

Insurance agencies and carriers are entrusted with a lot of valuable information (e.g., passwords, bank information, Social Security numbers, and more) that these criminals would love to get a hold of. Remaining vigilant can help keep this valuable information secure. Here are some tips to help you identify potential phishing emails:

  • Beware of emails and websites related to the coronavirus. Recently, a leading provider of cyber security solutions cautioned that “coronavirus-related domains are 50% more likely to be malicious than other domains.”
  • Check the sender. Is it someone you normally deal with? Are they addressing you in a way or with a tone that you would expect? Is it a name you know, but a different sending address? If you’re unsure, contact the sender using a phone number that was not provided in the suspicious email to verify who sent the message. Don’t reply to the email to ask if it’s legitimate.
  • Check what is being asked of you. Are you being rushed, asked for a favor, or asked to bypass an established process? Are they asking for unusual information?
  • Be wary of attachments and links, especially if it’s not something usually sent by the sender, or a different type of document delivery such as Dropbox or DocuSign.
  • Don’t forward the suspected scam emails to coworkers. This can spread malicious mail.

If you think you have spotted a scam email, or just aren’t sure, it is best to contact the person who manages technology and/or systems for your agency.

Check Point Global Threat Index

MAR LC 2020-166