A fraudulent email account claiming to be the Freeburg Chamber Secretary contacted at least one chamber member. The email asked for the chamber member to click a link to update their contact information and was signed “Chamber Secretary”. This email was not sent by the Freeburg Chamber of Commerce or any of its representatives, and represents a dangerous type of email scam: phishing.
For those of you who aren’t aware, phishing is when a scammer sends a fraudulent email claiming to be a company or entity that they are not in order to get victims to hand over personal information like contact info, credit cards, bank accounts, etc. At best, these attacks get the victim’s contact information. More malicious ones target bank accounts and credit cards. Other phishing scams include Trojan horse viruses or ransomware.
Ransomware is exactly what it sounds like – scammers get access to your data, your computers, or your network and hold it for ransom. These attacks can lead to money stolen from accounts, identity theft, and can cripple your ability to do business by wreaking havoc on your data and holding your ability to do business ransom.
How can you protect yourself?
Don’t open any suspicious emails. Anything that looks too good to be true usually is. Check the email addresses carefully, many will have tell-tale signs of a fake like transposed words or will be hosted by sites like gmail instead of a company website. Look for logos that don’t seem to be properly sized. As many of these attacks come from overseas, many times the English used feels off. It’s very common for phishing emails to have terrible spelling and grammar.
The most important takeaway – do not click any links or give any personal information if anything even remotely seems off about an email.
If you’re worried about security, the Freeburg Chamber has two member IT companies who can help protect you from online scammers: Computype IT Solutions and CTS Technology Solutions. You can find these Chamber members under the computers and telecommunications section of our business directory.
Take any precautions you possibly can to make sure that you or your employees don’t fall for these phishing scams. Remember:
Correspondence from the Chamber will come from firstname.lastname@example.org.
-Freeburg Chamber Secretary