Unscrupulous crooks are already seeking to profit from the coronavirus pandemic by phishing companies. How can you ensure that remote workers engage their ‘business brains’ and spot attempts before any harm is done?

Here are three simple things everyone can do to strengthen their defences:

Think before you click

Is the subject designed to have an emotional impact, so you’ll react without thinking? Phishers rely on this trick to help drop our guard. Look out for emails designed to tug at your heartstrings, such as those asking for donations for coronavirus victims. Also be wary of emails which promise you a free coronavirus test or info on where the nearest patients are. Only get your information from reputable news sources, not unsolicited emails!

Latest news: Facebook is now being flooded with warnings of scam messages, such as HMRC offering refunds via card. We’ve also seen fake text messages purporting to be from UKGOV, fining people for being out of their houses. The scam texts can sit in the same thread as genuine UKGOV messages so will catch some people out. 

Be cautious about business loan/grant/refund emails

Hover your mouse over the ‘from’ address to check that emails are from a genuine source. If not, delete!

Our MD, Helen, says, “Watch out for emails offering to submit a loan or grant application on your behalf. Delete these and keep an eye on trusted business websites instead, like the FSB.”

Take some training

Now’s a great time to brush up on your phish-spotting skills. We recommend the Met Police’s free Little Guides and Videos plus the low cost cyber security awareness course available from Bob’s Business. You may also like to look at resources from Warwickshire County Council and the latest guidance from the National Cyber Security Centre.

Remember, with over 90% of business fraud starting with a phishing attack in normal circumstances, according to British Standards, it’s clearly critical to stop criminals in their tracks! If you’d like to share this content with your team, please feel free to copy & paste or send them the link to this blog. The more people that know, the better!

Should you receive phishing emails, please report them to Action Fraud for investigation.