Your MSP Company can be instrumental in both helping clients avoid getting scammed by common cons that exist on the net like viruses in the real world and helping them to recover if such a scam has grabbed them by the throat and stilted operations.
To that end, three common scams will be briefly explored here:
• The Plea for Help
• The Attachment
• The Link
The Plea for Help
You’ve clients have probably seen this one. Some Nigerian Prince sends you an e-mail out of the blue that looks like somebody threw words in a blender then poured them on the page. The English is bad. Or, if it isn’t bad, the message is too good to be true. “I’ve got a million dollars, but political unrest in my country is keeping me away from the banks! Can I get your account number, so I can deposit my assets in your bank? I’ve got a million; I’ll let you keep fifty thousand!”
You may be surprised that people would be gullible enough to fall for something like this that is “too good to be true”; but variations of this scam are numerous, and regularly reel in unsuspecting Internet users.
This scam is a lot more difficult to notice and may be a reason your MSP business should be educating end users, because this one’s quite effective. Basically, you’re clients either get an e-mail from someone they know, or from a name they recognize but an e-mail they don’t. Unlike other scams, this one is sometimes personalized to such a degree it doesn’t seem to be either foreign, or “spammed” out en masse. Certainly, such scams are regularly spammed out, but cyber-criminals get increasingly savvy as old modes of success become less tenable.
Basically, there’s an attachment with a legitimate story drawing you into opening it. Maybe you’re in music or writing. Someone says: “I love the story you submitted; I’ve left my notes in the attachment.” You open the attachment, and whamo— suddenly your files are held for ransom and your business grinds to a halt as you either pay the fee or must utterly reconfigure your systems.
This scam can be terribly egregious or simple enough to resolve. A lot of times, the scammer just wants to use your account as some underhanded means of advertising. Social media is commonly the culprit “phished” here. It works like this: you’ll get a message or a Facebook wall post that says: “I can’t believe what you did in this picture!” And then there’s a link. They may reference a video, too. You click the link, and nothing seems to happen— except, your information has been phished.
This scam can backhand you from an email, too. Basically, don’t click on spurious links. Sometimes they’ll come from an email that is a combination of several other emails in your inbox. The right kind of IT protection protocols can filter these out.
Providing Online Protection
Think of Your MSP business providing a vaccine against online computer viruses. Your IT company should be cognizant of all the most prevalent scams, be they of the “phishing,” “ransomware,” “adware,” or “Nigerian Prince” variety. Online scams continuously transition, and we have time to learn them.