Social engineering scams are designed to persuade or trick you into taking action or giving up information that scammers can exploit.
New directors are common targets for scammers, as are employees holding special permissions (such as sensitive passwords or financial privileges).
Here we list five common social engineering scams you may encounter.
1. "Friday Fraud"
Fraudsters use various methods to fool employees into helping them raid a firm's accounts. Why Friday, though? The clever reason is that scammers know that on Fridays, people often have their guard down as they look forward to the weekend.
It is also the busiest day for conveyancing, and large sums of money are exchanged.
A classic example is an email or call to the company's Finance Director, purporting to be from the Managing Director or a legal adviser, saying that a transaction urgently needs to be completed by the weekend and requesting payment into a fraudulent account.
2. 'Government' scams
Company directors are sometimes called up by people saying they're working on behalf of the government, and are looking for companies to take part in an initiative to promote UK business, or similar.
Otherwise, they may offer the chance to advertise on a site run by the Foreign Office, for example, or be featured in an official Government publication - for a fee, of course.
Be aware, these sites are fake and the money paid will go directly to the fraudsters.
3. Telemarketing scams
In this type of scam, someone calls your office out of the blue, with the receiver giving out information they would not do if they realised who was actually on the phone. This may enable scammers to access sensitive company documents and details.
Likewise, someone claiming to be from a charity may ring up, suggesting that if your business makes a donation, it will reflect well on you and help bolster a good corporate reputation. A link or some good publicity may be offered in return.
Of course, the money doesn't actually go to a charity.
4. Phishing scams
In a phishing scam, you unknowingly click on a link in an email that appears to come from a trusted contact - perhaps a supplier or customer - only to find that your computer is infected by a virus, or you have passed sensitive password information to a fraudster.
To protect yourself, stay aware of the risks and make sure you have up to date anti-virus software.
5. 'Pay this invoice' scams
Companies tend to use large providers for utilities such as electricity and water. Scammers may contact your business, and claim that your payments are overdue, requesting immediate payment to a specific account. You pay quickly to avoid being cut off… but you have been fooled.
If you are suspicious of any of these scams occurring to you or within your workplace, report it immediately to Action Fraud, your local trading standards office or your local police station
Sponsored post. Copyright © 2018 Robert Moore, Marketing Manager at KSA Group, who run www.companyrescue.co.uk.