Beware of Website Spoofing Targeting Small Businesses

August 16, 2021|

Last year, various coronavirus scams resulted in an estimated $157 million loss in revenue for businesses. But in 2021, there has been an uptick in internet scams with over $4 billion lost in a series of scams. Recently, a Maine-based company fell victim to a newer type of scam – domain spoofing.

This type of scam involves sophisticated scammers that set up fraudulent sites that mimic a business’ original site and will guide the user to enter their financial details or other sensitive information in which the attacker intercepts.

What Happened?

As reported by CBS, Great Northern Docks, a small business employing 20 people, became the target of a spoofed website scam recently. The company’s accountant went online to send out weekly payroll and searched the internet for the company’s bank website. Once she logged in on the site, it appeared to be undergoing maintenance and she received a call from what appeared to be the bank letting her know it would be fixed – when in reality, it was never a real site to begin with. She had inadvertently landed on a spoofed site, one made to look just like the bank’s real site, and effectively gave the scammers her bank login. The result was overdrawn funds in the business’ account the next morning – 68 transactions in total and $249,000 gone.

What Can Employers Do to Prevent This From Happening to Them?

Stay vigilant at all times when accessing sensitive information. Training employees to exercise caution and spot common signs of website spoofing can prevent getting tricked. Bookmark your vendor websites and avoid using a search engine to locate those websites. Always call the sender with a phone number you already have on file for that business or individual to confirm if you’re being asked to submit confidential information.

In the unfortunate event that your company falls victim to this type of scam, always report the spoofing attempts to local authorities and the business whose site was spoofed. This will help prevent future spoofing attacks. Additionally, retaining a lawyer with experience responding to these crimes who can conduct additional research or file a lawsuit may also be necessary.

Additional Resources

Scams Targeting Payroll Professionals

CBS Story on Internet Scams

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