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Cyber Crime is a clear and present danger to all in connected to Private, Public and third sector organisations.

Globally companies and organisations are being hit with cyber-attacks with devastating consequences. The majority of these attacks begin with a phishing email. By working together we can ensure that organisations stays protected.

It’s critical that we all remain diligent when receiving emails from unknown sources, strange links and attachments. They need reporting if we’re unsure of their legitimacy.

WHAT IS PHISHING?

Phishing is when attackers attempt to trick users into doing ‘the wrong thing’, such as clicking a bad link that will download malware, or direct them to a dodgy website.

Phishing can be conducted via text message, social media or in person by phone.

However the term ‘phishing’ is mainly used to describe attacks that arrive by email.

Attacks can install malware (such as ransomware), sabotage systems, or steal intellectual property and money.

WHAT WILL EMAILS CONTAIN – C.A.U.S.E?

  • Current events – Are you expecting to see a message like this? Criminals often exploit current news stories, big events or specific times of year (like tax reporting) to make their scam seem more relevant to you.
  • Authority – Is the message claiming to be from someone official? For example, your bank, doctor, a solicitor, or a government department. Criminals often pretend to be important people or organisations to trick you into doing what they want.
  • Urgency – Are you told you have a limited time to respond (such as ‘within 24 hours’ or ‘immediately’)? Criminals often threaten you with fines or other negative consequences.
  • Scarcity – Is the message offering something in short supply, like concert tickets, money or a cure for medical conditions? Fear of missing out on a good deal or opportunity can make you respond quickly.
  • Emotion – Does the message make you panic, fearful, hopeful or curious? Criminals often use threatening language, make false claims of support, or tease you into wanting to find out more.

You can forward suspicious emails to report@phishing.gov.uk or text messages to 7726.

It is worth noting that report@phishing.gov.uk from April 2020 to April 2021 received 5, 800, 000 suspected phishing emails forward on to them.  By reporting you will be helping others.

More information is available nationally from a range of sources:

Videos

There’s also useful information on the West Midlands Regional Cyber Crime Unit website.

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