Kingston Police warn local businesses about rise in email scams

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In light of a recent increase of email and internet scams, Kingston Police are reminding local businesses and corporations to be vigilant.

According to Kingston Police, phishing attacks are at an all-time high. Phishing scams use brand impersonation, and cyber criminals will pose as familiar companies so they can trick you and get access to your account in order to steal sensitive data or target additional employees.

Kingston police said that phishing scams often begin with the attackers sending you a standard-looking email appearing to be from a service or company that you use, such as Office 365. Clicking the link in the email will take you to a fake, but very realistic login page.

These fake pages can even have web addresses that appear safe, said Kingston Police.

The URL may end with a legitimate domain like ‘windows.net,’ because the attackers are hosting these pages with Microsoft’s Azure cloud services. If you enter your information here, the criminals will gain access to one or more of your accounts, which they can use to steal data or plan further attacks on your organization.

Kingston Police has provided the following tips for protecting your inbox:

  • Look out for strange or suspicious domains in sender addresses. Even if the domain looks legitimate, check again. Does the email say ‘micronsoft.com’ instead of ‘microsoft.com’?
  • Before clicking, always hover over links to see where they are taking you. Never click on a link in a message unless you’re certain the sender is legitimate.
  • Whenever you get an email from an online service you use, log in to your account through your browser (not through links in the email) to check whether the email message is valid.

For more information on business fraud and preventative tips, visit the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre website. The Competition Bureau of Canada also offers The Little Black Book of Scams for additional resources for businesses.

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