Not Another One: What’s the Interception Scam?

Posted By: Helen Monday 30th November 2020Tags: , , ,

Unfortunately, hackers never sleep; well, they do, but whilst one is dreaming of stealing your personal data, another is managing to figure out the process. Hacking and online theft is an endless game of cat and mouse played by the perpetrator and the fraud team. As new fixes are implemented, fresh hacks arise. Discussing the ‘interception scam’, we’re going to explain exactly what’s involved and how to protect yourself. 

Inspired by COVID

Unfortunately, the disarray we currently find ourselves living among offers the perfect breeding ground for increased scams. Statistics from November 2020 suggest £58 million contributes to COVID related scams. This is a huge number and we sincerely hope you’re not one of the affected.

The Interception Scam Explained

It may sound fancy, but simply put, the interception scam sees fraudsters getting to your email through the wonders of cyberspace right before you do.

What do they do with it?

Imagine you’re in the process of buying a house or booking a holiday (yes, we realise the irony of the latter but it does mean it’s the perfect time to ‘[be aware’). With either of these examples there’s email confirmation and information back and forth. You probably don’t think twice when responding as you’re fully aware of the purchase. Upon inception, hackers will alter bank account numbers before sitting back, rubbing their hands with glee!

The results?

It’s an email you’ve been expecting and great! Here’s the details to transfer thousands of pounds for a house deposit or luxurious getaway in 2025! As for your cash, it goes straight into the fraudster’s back pocket, leaving you with nothing.

What are the Signs of Interception Scamming?

Knowledge is power, especially when it comes to cyber security. The more informed you are, the less likely you’ll fall victim to such hideous online crimes. Here’s some signs to look out for:

  • If asked to make a second payment, make sure you know what this is for. It’s also worthwhile checking the previous account numbers used in making an original payment. If they differ, call and question.
  • Pressure tactics still happen and this is something fraudsters like to employ. When making online payments, there’s nearly always a due date. If you’re way past this, gentle reminders will come as no surprise. Being pressured from the offset to transfer funds however, should suggest there’s a rabbit off.
  • Back to basics with spelling and grammar. Is the email well-written or is there something amiss? If unsure about ANYTHING, give the company a call.
  • It’s worth while to hover your mouse over the name of the sender. Does the email address match with all previous correspondence, representative of the company you’re dealing with? If the address is random and makes no sense, delete and move on.
  • Moving to links and attachments. Do they look legitimate?

Keeping Your Data Secure

What we don’t want you to do is panic; we want you to be aware and there’s a few things you can do initially to stay safe.

  • Is the senders website secure? Determine this by the URL which should begin with HTTPS as opposed to HTTP. You should also see a small padlock to the left of this, denoting the site is of a secure nature.
  • When embarking on a purchase whereby sensitive information is to be sent via email, physically speak to a named contact. Don’t hesitate to pick up the phone if you’re unsure about anything.
  • Double check account details ensuring they match with any former payments.

Unsure how to move forwards? At LaneSystems we specialise in Cyber Security and are happy to discuss this with you today.