The modern era has seen much of the business world migrate from in-person deals to online transactions. While this offers a wealth of convenience and opportunity for business people, investors, and entrepreneurs, it also comes with its own share of opportunity for perpetrators of financial crime and con artists. In this article, we will look at phishing (scams perpetrated by email or phone, and that involve the con artist posing as a legitimate figure) as well as some ways to protect yourself against this cybercrime.
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Global Asset Management, headquartered in Korea, is a firm that helps clients manage their wealth and grow their prosperity. This includes creating a relationship with clients built on trust, a long-term commitment to financial well-being, and transparency in investment practices. For more information, contact the Global Asset Management office in Seoul, Korea.
What is phishing? It’s a cybercrime that involves the con artist emailing or calling the potential target and posing as an authority figure, organization, or other entity to which the target might feel obligated. This has become a serious problem, with the FBI reporting that the United States alone saw more than $1.7 billion USD in fraud perpetrated through business email compromise in 2019. Below are some examples showing how this kind of situation may arise.
Calls From “Government Agencies”
In one example, a person might get a phone call from a supposed tax agency. Depending on the type of scam, the con artist may demand payment for back taxes or other fees, or they may pretend that the target individual is due for a tax return or special disbursement from the government. Regardless, usually the goal is either:
- a transfer of money
- bank account information
- PINs or relevant passwords
One the person gives up this information or makes the transfer of money, the con artist will make off with the wealth or drain the bank account now that they have access.
Many of us make use of various phone apps, online services, and streaming services like Netflix or Disney+. These are legitimate businesses that are sometimes used as masks for fraudulent criminals. For example, a con artist may copy the logo of a service into an email and send a claim to an unsuspecting target regarding some fictional outstanding account payment or upgrade. If you receive an email from an organization like this, look for the following signs of fraud:
- the con artist uses an email address that does not include the name of the business (or in which the business’ name is misspelled)
- the con artist does not address you by your name, but instead uses terms like “customer” or “client” throughout
- the email does not include security information or watermarks normally used by the company it is aping
A third option some financial exploiters take is to pretend that they are a part of the organization with which you work. For example, they might say they are from Accounting or Engineering, while you deal with Client Services. In these situations, they may claim that they need a transfer of money from one department to another. In reality, their goal is to steal this money.
Additionally, a growing trend that is somewhat related to phishing is the use of malevolent software called ransomware. Once the perpetrator has access to institutional data, they can send a file that “locks,” deletes, or hides crucial data that can affect the operation of the company. Then, they demand a ransom while promising to restore the data.
Preventing Phishing Scams
con artists are intelligent and crafty, and it can be difficult to spot a phishing email or a fraudulent phone call at first glance. However, you should always take caution to avoid any of the following actions:
- giving away private information
- transferring money through the wire
- sharing passwords to accounts
Additionally, you can lower your risk for phishing by always verifying the claims made in emails, always checking the source email to ensure that it truly is from the company it claims to be from, and calling the organization it claims to be from in order to make sure it is legitimate. Most companies provide several ways to pay, so any email that tries to prevent you from calling or separately logging into your account should be suspicious.
Global Asset Management, in Korea, can help clients invest soundly and grow their wealth for future generations as well as the here and now. Contact us for more assistance and financial advice.