ATLANTA–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Research by an Atlanta-based cybersecurity employee engagement firm conscious force shows that one of the biggest computer schemes of the second quarter involved scammers trying to take control of victims’ computers.
“The fake email we’ve seen most often in the last three months warns consumers that an expensive antivirus subscription to Norton or Geek Squad will automatically renew unless the recipient calls a toll-free number for the ‘cancel’, reports Richard Warnerfounder and CEO of Aware Force.
“Of course, there is no subscription to cancel”, specifies Warner. “But the email claims $300 or more in credit card charges are at stake unless a victim calls to cancel immediately.”
Aware Force pursued one of these fake emails and discovered that the scammers promised a refund if the victim agreed to install software that allowed the scammer to control their computer. When the software is launched, crooks can access information stored on the user’s machine, including passwords and emails.
“Users should ignore emails promising refunds for products they don’t recognize they are buying,” Warner says.
Other common phishing emails from the past three months reported by Aware Force readers include:
An employee’s company email will be closed unless an update is installed; the update installs malware on the machine.
Facebook is about to close a user’s account because a recent post violates copyright rules; following the link in the email gives scammers the user’s Facebook password.
Payment for a Netflix subscription failed due to a problem with the user’s bank account; replying to the email allows scammers to gain access to the account.
Aware Force produces a bi-monthly cybersecurity newsletter for employees on phishing, password management, cyber scams, best practices for protecting employees at work and at home, and the latest cybersecurity news . Each edition includes videos, quizzes, phishing exercises, cartoons, and Q&As for readers, and is customized for each business.