Remind your employees to be wary of online scams

As the world’s football fans are engulfed by World Cup fever this Summer, online scammers are hoping to capitalise on the sporting event’s widespread popularity by sending a spate of bogus Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) emails designed to con the recipients out of their money and personal information, or gain access to their computers. If employees fall for these spam emails, they risk infecting your business’ computer network by inadvertently granting hackers unauthorised access. 

The scams, purporting to represent FIFA, rely on a number of tricks to persuade supposed ‘lottery winners’ to fork out money in order to receive their huge cash prize. Another tactic is making delivery of the fake prize contingent on recipients divulging personal information. Scammers then use that personal information to commit identity fraud—draining bank accounts and opening fraudulent credit cards.

Due to the barrage of 2014 World Cup promotional material, it can be difficult to separate the real from the fake. To counter this confusion, urge your employees to follow the age-old adage that if something is too good to be true, it probably is. Tell them to remember that if they did not enter a lottery, they could not have won it. Because some scam emails are sent in Portuguese to baffle the recipients into clicking on a malicious link, employees should never click anything unfamiliar.

These and other online scams often take the form of spam, or unsolicited electronic messages. Through spam, scammers can also initiate installation of spyware, which is software installed on a computer without the user’s permission.

As a general rule, caution your employees to be suspicious when receiving any unsolicited or unexpected emails, and exercise extreme caution when clicking on links in suspicious emails.

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