CyberWhite, a North East based cybersecurity specialist, is urging people across the region to stay alert to cyber fraud, whether £10 or £10k, especially while we continue to work from home.
Recent research* shows that cybercriminals have increasingly targeted people working from home. Offenders have been stealing small sums from thousands of people in an attempt to fly under the radar and reduce the risk of being reported.
David Horn, director at CyberWhite, warns: “During lockdown, there has been an increased leak of personal information online. This provides cybercriminals with an easy route to target lots of individuals. While we are still asked to work from home, we need to continue to report any unrecognised transactions so that we don’t let cybercriminals cut and run.”
The research suggested that trying to steal £10 a hundred thousand times is far less risky than robbing £10million from a bank. It is difficult for law enforcement agencies to differentiate between a one-off scam and a co-ordinated fraud operation, and this tactic is increasingly being adopted by criminals.
Many cyber fraudsters have increased their access to personal information during lockdown through the increased use of household devices with lower levels of data security. The data on these devices provides all of the necessary information to create convincing phishing emails and vishing calls that ask for the individual’s basic information and bank details.
David continued: “We need to be cautious when sharing details with people on the phone and via email links. Scammers are finding it easier to target individuals than companies with high security levels, so you need to make sure that you are only providing your details to trusted sites. In the case that you do receive a scam email, make sure that you forward the message to the Government’s Suspicious Email Reporting Service and if it continues, talk to a cybersecurity specialist.”
*The Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) is the UK’s leading defence and security think tank.