Phishing in Troubled Waters

What are Email Phishing Scams?

Email phishing scams are one of the most dangerous threats in the email world today and humans happen to be the easiest bait. But what exactly are email phishing scams? They are scams built by online identity theft criminals, whose sole purpose is to trick you into giving away your personal information such as usernames, passwords, bank account numbers, credit card numbers, or social security numbers.

One way these email phishing scammers do this is by using spam emails that direct you to fake websites built to mimic legitimate websites. This is called clone phishing, just one of many popular methods. Once they’ve tricked you into submitting your sensitive information, they then use that information to create fake accounts in your name. This can directly lead to stolen money, stolen identity, or even ruining your credit score, or worse.

Another type is called spear phishing, which is all about targeting so called “weakest links” inside of organizations, businesses, and groups – by creating compelling and personalized messages to trick users into submitting their personal information for unauthorized use.

Whaling is special type of phishing, which uses spear phishing tactics to go after specific high-ranking employees, like business executives, rather than target large groups of people.

 

Now that you have a taste of the different sorts of phishing scams, let’s take a look at some facts about phishing scams provided by Barkly.com:

  • 85% of organizations have suffered from phishing scams.
  • 30% of phishing emails get opened
  • #1 delivery vehicle for malware is email attachments
  • $1.6 million is the average cost of spear phishing attacks in 2016
  • 1 in 3 companies have been victim of CEO fraud emails

How do Email Phishing Scams locate me?

The more you do online the more likely parts of your personal data have already been exposed. For example, your daily online life choices can expose you to phishing scams by simply doing things like posting a resume or commenting on a forum. Especially if you have been the unfortunate participant of a data breach from a large retailer, online bank, or other situation where your data could have been exposed.

We live in a world where parts of your personal data can often be easily available, where it is constantly being shared. Clone phishing scams catch you by sending spam emails or messages requesting to confirm your billing address, or verify your account through websites that are malicious, but built to mimic real sites. You must be very cautious, because these emails or websites look real, and you can find yourself caught in a mess if you submit your personal information.

Again, clone phishing is just one ploy, there are several others such as spear phishing and whaling that was stated earlier in the article, that you should be cautious of.

What do phishing scams do, and what do they want from you?

  • Conduct purchases with your card information
  • Create new personal accounts and credit cards
  • Catch usernames and passwords
  • Create more bank accounts in your name
  • Steal your money, tax records, and medical information
  • Steal your identity with your social security number
  • Sell your information to other parties for illegal purposes

Why should Marketers Care? How does that impact your list?

Think back to your childhood. Your mother probably gave you some variation of the “don’t hangout with that crowd“ advice. A bad crowd is a bad influence. They can convince you to do something that you really don’t want to do.

So let’s bring that advice back to marketing. If you are marketing alongside a bad crowd of phishing scammers, then you run the risk of being damaged simply by association, and you don’t want that. Such an association could ding your sender reputation, or hurt your chances to properly market to the customers you truly want to reach. So again, it is in your best interest to avoid the bad crowd. These types of emails could also lead to Spam Traps. Take a look at our recent Intelligence report, and Infographic to learn more about the dangers Spam Traps pose.

How do I avoid Phishing Emails?

Webbula cloudHygiene is the perfect solution. We can detect phishing emails and other malicious threats hiding in your email data before you send out your next marketing campaign. With cloudHygiene we go beyond email verification and identify the hidden threats that verification simply can’t. Threats like phishers, moles, and traps will pass a simple SMTP verification check.

Using Webbula cloudHygiene helps your brand maintain a positive reputation among email hosts, service providers and consumers.

Sending to phishing accounts and other problem emails can be very damaging to your reputation. When your reputation is damaged, deliverability rates among email hosts decrease, which causes your emails to be redirected straight to spam. Before you know it your domains and IP addresses are blacklisted. It is a cycle that can quickly spiral out of your control.

So stop hanging out with the bad crowd, and let Webbula cloudHygiene keep them off your lists.

 

Check out these informative and helpful Intelligence Reports:

The Trouble with Bots

Verification Vs Email Hygiene

Forward or Reverse: Webbula Data Appends