MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Working from home has become the new normal, and hackers and scammers are taking advantage. October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month and the FBI is warning the public about the dangers of online scams.
This year has been the era of remote work. People are online more than they have been in the past.
“If you have an empty highway or a really busy highway, which is going to have more accidents right,” said Jeremy Baker, FBI Assistant Special Agent in Charge.
The accidents online are cyber-attacks.
Baker said Business Email Compromise, or BEC is an attack that has become all too common. He says there have been cases where a person pretends they are a CEO of a company, they email an employee, and ask them to wire money. The email turns out to be fake with just a couple of letters different from the real one.
So how can you avoid falling prey? Verify it is the right email.
“You know in today’s environment it takes a few extra seconds to do it but it saves a lot of money,” said Baker.
Criminals are starting to get creative, with newer tricks like remote access scams.
“It doesn’t have to be an email, it can be something that just appears on your computer screen,” explained Baker.
The pop-ups can even appear to be an ad. But you want to think before you click.
“It will actually give the bad guys access of your computer,” he warns.
In turn, scammers can get access to your personal and financial information or take money from you directly. If that does happen you can report it to the FBI, but do so as quickly as possible.
“If they take too long beyond 24 or 48 hours it becomes very difficult to get that money back,” said Baker.