Reinforce your business’s cybersecurity to avoid COVID-19 scams
To steer clear of fraudsters adapting to the new environment, learn their new tricks and leverage our cybersecurity resources.
Most likely, the way you run your business has changed. Just as you have adapted, however, so have hackers looking to take advantage of vulnerable businesses.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC), Federal Communications Communication (FCC), and Better Business Bureau (BBB) have warned that fraudsters are capitalizing on fear and uncertainty during the pandemic to target individuals and businesses.
But you don’t have to fly blind. Understand how scammers have re-packaged their attempts to steal business information — and how to report any fraudulent attempts.
Financial relief scam
Many businesses have already received a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan but may need additional financial assistance. Cybercriminals know the challenges businesses are facing and are aware of this need. They may try to lure you or your employees in with:
- Fake emails mimicking official Small Business Administration (SBA) emails
- Guaranteed approval of an SBA loan for an upfront fee or payment
- Calls offering a 0% interest loan
Online listing scam
Many businesses are focused on making sure their online presence is in tip-top shape as in-store traffic remains low and customers continue to make purchases online. The FTC has identified this robocall recording targeting small businesses. The recording urges businesses to update their Google listing and simply isn’t legitimate.
The health crisis has many of us focused on staying healthy and supporting those who have, unfortunately, become ill. As businesses and individuals hurry to support relief efforts or acquire medical supplies, cybercriminals are adding fake donation requests and medical supply scams to their repertoire. These attacks attempt to take advantage of the confusion and misinformation surrounding the disease and the nation’s response.
Internal request scams
If you have employees working remotely and are unable to verify requests in person, advise them to be extra cautious. Scammers may impersonate HR to request personal information, IT to ask for passwords or instruct users to download software, or executives to have money wired or funds transferred.
Reinforce your cybersecurity practices
Use our resources to amplify your cybersecurity strategies and discuss fraud with your team:
- Data security tips to keep your business information safe
- Tips from our financial crimes manager for Treasury Management & Payment Solutions at Wells Fargo
- Cybersecurity measures for the cloud-based small business
- Defining cybersecurity: A glossary of terms to know
Businesses aren’t the only targets of cybercriminals. You as an individual, your employees, and your customers are also on their radar. Be on the lookout for fake phone calls or emails regarding anything from stimulus check shams to healthcare scams. You can report any suspicious communications to the FTC, BBB, FBI, or SBA.