Very Clever Email Scam Found At Our Client’s Site

Evan was at a client site doing some maintenance.  The Controller got an email from the daughter of the owner asking if she was available to send out a same-day payment.  It just so happens that the two ladies were in the same room when the email came in, so the hunt began.

As Evan was checking out the original email, he noticed that there was one extra letter in the domain name.  You really had to look closely to see that it was off, since it was an extra letter ‘i’ right in the middle.  This means whoever was running this scam had an email address with one of the current user’s names, purchased a domain name which was one letter different than the ‘real’ one, then sent it out.

This isn’t some bulk email blast trying to trick people.  This is a targeted, methodical effort that took time and investment to pull off.  Of course the ‘fake’ domain address was blacklisted right away, and everyone in the office was made aware, but this is very serious.

When was the last time you looked your employees in the eye and told them to be careful on their (your) computers?

  • Make sure the passwords are ‘strong’; that means upper and lower case letters, a number, a special character, 8-characters at a minimum; too inconvenient? How inconvenient is it to wire money in a scam?  Or to have your data hacked and encrypted?  Tell them to just do it (and be sure you do, too!)
  • Share this story so people are on the look out!
  • Make sure that anyone with access to your bank, credit cards, or finances on any level knows the rules and picks up the phone to confirm. Make it your policy that anything involving money requires a phone call or face-to-face.
  • Make sure your anti-virus is up-to-date
  • Make sure you have anti-spam services in place

Businesses are under attack, and the perpetrators are determined, clever, and getting more sophisticated each day.  Be careful, and tell your staff to be careful!