Online Security & Fraud Awareness
With the rapid utilization of digital technology for commercial and personal transactions, opportunities for criminals seeking to steal information for financial gain also rises. New threats emerge every day and cyber criminals are becoming ever more sophisticated in developing new strategies to exploit vulnerabilities in an attempt to steal sensitive information and assets.
Blackwell Global places great importance on information security and fraud prevention and has technical defenses in place to protect client accounts and information. Even with this diligent effort in place, safeguarding remains a priority and you must be aware of what you can do to maintain and protect your information and personal data.
To help you detect and protect yourself against cyber-scams, we have outlined some of the most common tactics as well as some tips to help you keep safe.
Understanding Cybersecurity Threats
- Phishing scams
Criminals send emails or text messages posing as legitimate organisations in order to trick individuals into revealing sensitive information, such as passwords and credit card numbers. Unsuspecting individuals are often lured to a fake website (that resembles the real website) where they are prompted to enter sensitive information. The information is then used by the criminals for illegal activities, such as identity theft or unauthorized access to bank accounts.
- Social Media Impersonation
Social media scams are becoming increasingly prevalent as a larger share of our personal lives is shared online. Fraudsters create fake accounts that appear and claim to be official accounts in an attempt to retrieve valuable information. Individuals may claim to work for, or be affiliated with genuine regulated firms; or include false images of trading statements to make claims that they are profitable traders. It is important to be vigilant and wary of payments made to an account that is not in the name of the company.
How You Can Protect Yourself
- Enable Two-Factor Authentication:
Where available, use 2FA when navigating online services including emails, financial websites, password manager, cloud file storage and social media.
- Strong Password Management:
Use unique, complex passwords with a combination of lower and upper-case letters, numbers and symbols. Change them often and avoid reusing passwords.
- Be Skeptical:
Emails remain a common entry point for hackers to perform online fraud. Be cautious when opening emails or clicking on links from unknown sources. If in doubt, do not click.
- Keep Control of Critical Data:
Ensure that your sensitive data is always stored encrypted, to prevent someone from viewing it if your device gets lost or stolen. Never enter your credentials/log-in details into platforms or websites you are unfamiliar with.
- Keep Software and Devices up-to-date:
Protect your devices against malicious software by installing anti-virus, anti-spyware and Internet firewall tools. This helps to ensure that any vulnerabilities are patched and makes it more difficult for criminals to gain unauthorized access to sensitive information.
Understanding Financial Fraud
- Investment scams
This involves convincing individuals to invest in fake or fraudulent schemes, often with the promise of high returns. Fraudsters usually present the opportunity by making contact through email, website or phone and often go through great lengths to gain the victims’ trust.
- Identity Theft
This involves stealing an individual's personal information, such as their personal identification number or credit card information, in order to open bank accounts, take out loans, or make unauthorized purchases.
- Payment Fraud
One of the fastest growing scam schemes, fraudster trick victims into transferring large amounts of money to accounts under their control. This involves unauthorized or counterfeit transactions, such as credit card fraud or cheque fraud.
- Business Email Compromise (BEC)
Business Email Compromise (BEC) scams involve compromising the email accounts of employees in order to steal sensitive information or carry out fraudulent financial transactions. The attacker gains access to an employee’s email to send emails that appear to be from a trusted source, such as CEO or vendor to other employees or customers, asking them to transfer money or provide sensitive information./br>
How You Can Protect Yourself
In addition to the cybersecurity good practices listed above, you can protect yourself by:
- Do Not Reveal Personal Data:
Do not disclose or share your personal data with anyone or any site you are not familiar with.
- Ask Questions and Probe:
If you are ever contacted by an organisation requesting a payment or movement of funds – question the request to the highest degree. Legitimate organisations would never ask for sensitive information or pressure you into rushed payments via phone or email.
Be aware of the risk of unsolicited phone calls or emails, from people claiming to represent Blackwell Global. If you are uncertain about a call or email, please verify by forwarding it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Government agencies, private companies and individuals remain potential targets of fraud and it is important for everyone to be vigilant and take these steps to protect yourselves in today’s connected world.
If you have any enquiries, do not hesitate to reach out to us at email@example.com.