Is cybercrime the biggest threat to society?

User Written by Trevor Keidan on October 12, 2015.

Is cybercrime the biggest threat to society?

Following on from my previous post regarding scams, a UK news story caught my eye recently. It seems that cyber-criminals are not stopping at trying to scam individuals but have their sights set firmly on businesses too.

The story in question concerns the poor employee of a Suffolk firm who unwittingly handed over what is thought to be the biggest amount of money yet to a telephone scammer - £1million. The tactics used to swindle the firm out of this enormous sum were very similar to those you may have been unfortunate enough to be on the receiving end of yourself – the number displayed matched that of the bank’s fraud team, the caller claimed the company’s internet banking facility had been attacked by a virus and that the employee should transfer funds into a holding account until the problem was fixed. Convinced that the call was genuine, the worker enabled the caller to access to the firm’s computer to ‘fix the problem’. Hey presto – the company was £1m lighter and the scammer laughing all the way to wherever scammers hold their ill-gotten gains.

The swindle prompted Tim Passmore, Suffolk Police and Crime Commissioner, to comment that cybercrime is ‘perhaps the biggest threat society faced’ and to call for additional resources to fight it.

It is sad when the default position when receiving seemingly authentic calls has to be suspicion but it really is important that we all protect ourselves as individuals, as well as the businesses we work for. Remember that genuine callers will not be offended at questions as to their veracity, even if you want to check the truth of their claims and call back later. After all, the banks want to thwart any fraudsters just as much as you do.

There is a word of warning for businesses here too – we all need to ensure that staff are given adequate training so that they are not vulnerable to falling for this kind of scam and putting themselves or our businesses at risk.

For advice on how to deal with suspected scams, have a look at my former post here.

Trevor Keidan

Trevor Keidan

Posted on October 12, 2015 in Viewpoint.