Gone Phishing

Cyber crooks are always devising new ways to extract private, personal, compromising data from us… whether it’s through fake Medicare calls or emails promising lottery winnings. If they’re not extracting data, they’re inserting it.

The latest phishing* expedition is related to the teleconferencing platforms Zoom, MS Teams, and Google Meet. Many of us are still becoming familiar with these and could find ourselves clicking into trouble. In some cases, hackers have sent very official-looking invitations to a Zoom or MS Team meeting and when one clicks on the link, it goes to another very official-looking site that asks for name, email, and password. If you respond, the hacker now has valuable information about you. So DON’T click.

In another example, a button in the invitation email to “open” the meeting was actually a link that downloaded malware. So DON’T open.

With more of us using teleconferencing tools to catch up with friends, visit relatives, enjoy virtual happy hours, and attend meetings, we have to be vigilant to avoid turning what’s become a wonderful way to stay in touch into a computer disaster. Start by making sure the invitation you receive is one you’re expecting at the time you expected to “attend.”

From an article at inc.com, here are some more ways to protect yourself:

  • Don’t click on unfamiliar links
  • Don’t give up login info
  • Don’t download attachments
  • Put a password on your Wi-Fi
  • Use a VPN (Virtual Private Network)

If you have been a victim of a teleconference hijacking or any cyber-crime, report it to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center here.

And finally, please remember,  if you receive a phone call or email about your credit cards, bank accounts, Social Security, Medicare, etc., do not respond! Contact the company directly using the phone number or URL (website address) from a statement or the back of the credit card and let them know someone was phishing.

Tidelines Editors

*Phish- to try to obtain financial or other confidential information from Internet users, typically by sending an email that looks as if it is from a legitimate organization, usually a financial institution, but contains a link to a fake website. (Dictionary.com)

(Image credit: pixabay.com)