Scammers love a good day of phishing. They imitate well-known companies and brands to trick you out of personal information and finances. They can cast their line via email, phony links and apps, official-looking websites, text and more, hoping for a bite.
A recent scam surfaced in which the operators sent out emails warning of automatic renewals of antivirus subscriptions. Tap or click here to see how they targeted more than a million people.
Any brand can be spoofed, but it’s helpful to know what the latest trends are when it comes to scams of this nature. We have a report on the top 10 most imitated brands below.
Something smells phishy
Security firm Check Point Research just released its latest Brand Phishing Report detailing which companies have been most imitated in the first quarter of this year.
“Two banking brands — Wells Fargo and Chase — are now in the top 10 list, as hackers have shifted to capitalize on people filing taxes, fielding stimulus checks and ordering home deliveries,” the firm said in an email.
“The report goes on to provide two visual examples of an impersonation hackers made of Wells Fargo and DHL. Lastly, Microsoft topped the list two quarters in a row, as hackers continue to focus on remote workers.”
About 39% of these phishing attempts were related to Microsoft, with more remote workers being targeted during the pandemic. Another 18% refer to DHL, as people are increasingly reliant on home deliveries. Wells Fargo and Chase join the list as digital payments become more commonplace, giving scammers more opportunities to exploit potential victims.
Two common methods of luring victims are malicious files and fake websites. You might receive a message saying you need to download a file to retrieve a package from DHL, for example. A link in an email can take you to a spoofed site that looks just like the Wells Fargo website, complete with login fields.
Times are tough and many people are finding themselves out of work. This is a ripe time for bad operators to target job seekers. Tap or click here to avoid falling victim to job-related scams.
Most targeted brands with phishing scams
Top 10 list
- Wells Fargo
Here are some tips to avoid phishing schemes:
- Don’t open any links or attachments from unsolicited emails.
- If you don’t know who the sender is, avoid the email altogether. Even if it’s a known brand, think of your association with it before taking any actions. Why would Chase send you an email when you don’t even bank with them, for example.
- Keep an eye out for poor spelling and grammar. These are dead giveaways that the sender is not legitimate.
- Be very careful about who you share your personal and financial information with.