FBI Warning on LinkedIn Fraud Reveals Another Cyber Security Risk
The Federal Bureau of Investigation in San Francsico and Sacramento, California, is warning business owners to be wary of a LinkedIn Fraud. In a new scam, fraudsters initiate a LinkedIn chat, convince their victims to open a legitimate crypto account, then convince them to move that investment to an account the thief can access. The fraudster drains the account and disappears. Victims have lost hundreds of thousands of dollars to these scammers, who are believed to operate out of southeast Asia.
Can You Trust that LinkedIn Contact?
While this attack is aimed at individuals, it still exposes a significant potential cyber security threat for small businesses. Most business owners have an active LinkedIn presence. Many communicate regularly with existing and potential clients on LinkedIn. Could you tell the difference between someone who legitimately wants to do business with you and someone who may be trying to phish your company or hack your systems?
The sad reality is that any online contact, even someone from LinkedIn, must be treated with suspicion. The challenge for business owners, nonprofits and government agencies lies in figuring out how to conduct business safely. You can’t simply hide from everyone who reaches out to you. You also can’t open every unsolicited email that hits your inbox. You have to learn to distinguish friend from foe.
Linkedin Fraud prevention – Cyber Security Awareness Tips to Spot Scams
Most fraudsters follow predictable patterns that you can learn through cyber security awareness training. The LinkedIn Fraud detailed by the FBI in California is a bit more sophisticated, because the criminals walked their targets through a series of steps that built trust before they executed their con. Even in a case like this, there are some basic cyber security rules that can help you spot fraud.
- Beware of overly friendly communications. If someone you have never met is flattering you or your business, it can be a sign that they’re trying very hard to get your trust. Be particularly wary of strangers who know personal details about you. Ask yourself if you would talk to a stranger the way this stranger is talking to you. If the answer is no, end the conversation.
- Never respond to pressure. Fraudsters want you to act without thinking. One common technique they use is to make it seem like you need to take action NOW to reap some windfall or avoid some problem. If they can’t give you 24 hours to think something over, the deal probably isn’t legitimate. Do ask for phone numbers and emails where you can reach people and be persistent. That will scare off the amateurs and those looking for easy targets.
- Never give anyone access. If someone asks for a password, bank account number or any other piece of personal information, the answer is always NO.
Many of our clients describe seeing something that didn’t feel right or didn’t seem right that made them suspicious. Do act on those feelings. If behavior or language seems very unusual or, conversely, too perfect, it could be a sign of a scammer.
LinkedIn is a great tool to build your business. We use it and we love it. But we also recognize that determined criminals are always working to find ways around security rules and policies. Theft is their full-time job, and some of them are very good at it. Vigiliance and cyber threat awareness will help keep you ahead of these determined criminals.
Protect Now offers phishing prevention programs and cyber security online training to help business owners, government agencies and nonprofits protect against hackers, ransomware and breaches. Call us at 1-800-658-8311 or contact us online to speak to a cyber security expert who will help you assess your current cyber security and training needs.
Written by Robert Siciliano, CEO of Credit Parent, Head of Training & Security Awareness Expert at Protect Now, #1 Best Selling Amazon author, Media Personality & Architect of CSI Protection Certification.