The “Free Dinner” Scam: In this spear-phishing attack, scammers research an individual’s social media pages to find out what charities they support. They will then send an email that appears to be from that charity asking for feedback in exchange for a free dinner. Some criminals will even research the victim’s favorite restaurants to make the offer even more appealing. The “feedback form” will be a word attachment that installs malware to the victim’s computer when it is downloaded.

The “Pending Litigation” Scam: The sure-fire way to put someone into panic mode is to suggest they’re being threatened with a lawsuit. This emotional reaction may cause someone to not think clearly before clicking a malicious link. Typically in a spear-phishing, or whaling (an attack that specifically targets a top executive), attack, the email address of a business’s legal council—both internal and external– is spoofed and a message is sent saying a dissatisfied customer is suing the company. The target then clinks a link, or downloads a document, that installs malware to the computer.

The “Document Storage” Scam:     Both Google Docs and Dropbox have experienced spoofing. Hackers have impersonated these document cloud-storage sites, sending out email messages with a “shared” document that actually downloads ransomware to their system.

Financial Institution Spoofing: A common scam where criminals send email messages that appear to be from the victim’s bank or credit card company. The messages will have logos and messaging that mirror the real thing. Links in the messages will typically take the victims to a spoofed website that is designed to look identical the site of their actual bank or credit card company. The URL will look similar, but that is a place to spot the difference as there will be something different like an extra letter or reversed letters in the spelling. They’ll type their account information in to login and it will be captured by the scammer.

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