Time leading up to the holidays can be a boring and an unproductive period for many employees. Putting off new projects until the new year, scrambling to use up the last of your vacation days and spending more time worrying about Christmas festivities rather than work, can create many distractions, tempting workers to do some online holiday shopping. 

Now that December is here, holiday shopping is in full swing. Unfortunately, with this comes the risk of falling for phishing scams. According to a recent public service announcement made by the FBI, during the 2020 holiday shopping season there was over 17,000 complaints of scams, resulting in over $53 million in losses. It is anticipated that this year, the FBI is expecting an increase due to rumors of merchandise shortages and the ongoing pandemic. 

Top 3 Scams 

Many of us may think that we can spot a phishing scam from a mile away, but the reality is cybercriminals are continuously changing up their game, making it harder to recognize.  

  1. Bogus order confirmation scam: With these scams, it’s common to receive messages that ask you to click a link or verify an order. Don’t be fooled. It uses online marketplaces (such as Amazon or eBay) and replicates their email layouts and use effective techniques to try and fool trusting customers into releasing personal information to an impersonator.  
  2. Deliveries being made: Similar to confirmation scams, these closely replicated emails suggest to the recipient that either the email is regarding a previous order made that has been delivered to the wrong house, or they’ve been charged with a purchase they did not make. Ultimately this strategy is used to obtain your number, once you’ve called, in order to use against more scams in the future.    
  3. Fake adverts: When online marketplace shopping, such as social media trading pages and others, it’s very common that prices inflate on hard-to-find items. But what many aren’t aware of is that many of these people selling these items have no intention of delivering them once they’ve been purchased.  

Educating Employees 

According to Verizon’s 2021 Data Breach Investigation Report, phishing was the most common form of cyberattack last year, with 43% of breaches involving scam emails. Due to the increasingly sophisticated nature of phishing attempts, relying on email filters to catch fake emails or links does not suffice. Protecting your organization and training employees on phishing prevention is essential to safeguard internal business information or personal data from ransomware and phishing attacks.  

At Netsweeper, we leverage an AI-driven content filtering platform to keep employees on task and reduce cyber threats. Our technology specializes in recognizing phishing attacks that are often overlooked by UTMs and adds an additional layer of cybersecurity. This platform gives the ability to control internet access, review online activity, and protect your network from harmful content while improving employee productivity through cost-effective filtering tools.  

Book a demo to connect with one of our product experts to better understand the benefits of the Netsweeper platform and how you can protect your organization and boost employee productivity. 

Submitted by: Natasha Pande