Cyber Security Tip: Is this request really from the boss

Cyber Security Tip: Is this request really from the boss

Mar 26, 2024

Here’s a common scam: you get an e-mail from the boss (or your spouse, parents or other trusted person) asking you to send them a copy of employee pay stubs, tax information or other files with confidential data such as social security numbers in them, or they’re asking you to transfer or ACH payment to a vendor or a different bank account.

The problem: even though it is coming from an e-mail address of someone you know and trust and LOOKS legit, there’s a chance it could be a scam. Hackers can INTERCEPT e-mail messages and modify them.

If you ever get this kind of request, DOUBLE-CHECK by calling that person to confirm. And even if it turns out to be a legitimate request, you should NEVER send confidential information like social security numbers (or attachments with this information inside them) without taking precautions to password-protect and encrypt the message first.

PAYROLL WARNING: Heads up if you work in HR or process payroll – hackers are very interested in getting you to send employee payroll to the wrong bank accounts. Be on high alert for employees asking you to update their banking information. Make sure to confirm the change request by phone and DO NOT call any phone numbers in the e-mail that was sent to you.

Bottom line: verbally confirm all requests involving money or sensitive data.

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Think fast: what’s the first thing you do after realizing you just replied to the e-mail from the Nigerian prince wanting to give you a sum of $34 million? Okay, you most likely didn’t reply to that…but let’s suppose you suddenly realize your machine or device has been compromised and you’re staring at a ransom note. Now what?

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