VOiP Phishing Scams: What are they, and how TNTMAX’s IT Services in Bergen County Can Protect Your Company & Employees
The rise in use of VoIP technology means that VoIP phishing scams are everywhere. TNTMAX’s experts in IT Services in Bergen County help business owners understand VoIP and how to avoid phishing scams within their workplace.
What is VoIP?
VoIP stands for “Voice over IP,” a protocol aimed towards transmitting voice over a broadband internet connection. Over the past two decades, this form of communication came into practice as an alternative to the traditional public telephone network.
If you have a high-speed internet connection, you can set up a basic VoIP access service, which will allow you to make calls to others who are receiving calls over the internet. If you opt for interconnected VoIP access, you can make calls to and from a traditional landline network. Undoubtedly, this mode is convenient, cheap and comes with some great added features. Even though Voice over IP has just recently become a reliable service for businesses, the technology has been around for much longer.
The predominant type of VoIP is “Session Initiation Protocol” (SIP). SIP is an open standard, which means it is a common-use language that any service providers can use, as opposed to proprietary ones like Skype.
Why The Rise in VoIP Technology?
- Cost: The cost involved in calling from one VoIP phone to another VoIP phone is free. This is because calls are using the shared infrastructure of the web, so the cost of connecting networks is meager. Calls made to and from a traditional landline are lower cost than traditional phone services.
- Flexibity: In conventional landline phones, a phone number is hard-wired to the copper in the ground. Therefore, if you want to move the telephone from one place to another, it is difficult and expensive. With VoIP, it is straightforward. You simply unplug the broadband from one location and plug it to another location. Also, using VoIP, one can use different applications for connections. You can use:
- A traditional telephone by connecting it to a VoIP adaptor.
- A VoIP phone that is specifically designed to handle the VoIP protocols.
- A PC software running on laptops.
- A PBX system.
- A mobile phone over a Wifi connection.
VoIP is also flexible because it works with our IP protocols, that is, it works with all other applications over the internet. So, you can easily integrate it with services like email, web browsing or any other custom application you might have.
- Virtual Channels: You do not need copper pairs running in the line for every single call.
Types of VoIP Phone Systems for Businesses
Instead of traditional landline phones, there are different types of VoIP phone systems available with new features:
- Business Phone Systems: Cloud-based VoIP business phone systems provide a consistent business presence, enabling employees to stay connected whether they are in the office or on-the-go.
- IP Phone Systems: IP Phone uses VoIP to establish a connection between two sets of users. One of the key advantages of IP phones is that the long distance calls are free of cost.
- Home Phone Systems: VoIP home phone systems powers all your phones. It allows you to plug your phone to the internet and connect to employees from anywhere across the world.
- Virtual Office Phone Systems: With virtual office phones, you can transfer all your calls to any number you choose. Even if your staff is unable to answer a call personally, an auto-attendant feature will greet the callers professionally with custom messages.
What is a Phishing Scam?
Picture this: you receive an email from your bank or trusted company asking you for information. The email looks legitimate, with branding and formatting that fools you into assuming the email is from your bank. By sending them your personal and confidential information, you’ve become a victim of identity theft. This type of scam is known today as “phishing.” According to cybersecurity experts, phishing is an epidemic with the number of attacks soaring every year.
Because the vast majority of commerce conducted today is via the web, we are in the habit of quickly creating a shopper account in which we punch in a wide array of personal, sensitive information. Sure, the risk of doing online business is low, as long as you do business with an organization that you trust. The only real problems occur when criminals impersonate these organizations and fool you into handing out sensitive information like passwords, PINs and account numbers.
Phony contests are another common strategy for phishing scams. This type of scam involves emails that say that you have won a high value gift card, and to claim it, you must click on a provided link. Clicking on this link can lead to a virus being downloaded to your computer that can capture your every keystroke. Thus, you can give out sensitive information anytime you log in to a website or fill out a form.
You might also get an email from your favorite social media site, saying that “You haven’t been to your page in a few days – a lot has happened while you’ve been gone! Click here to view your unread messages!” With a phishing scamp, if you click on any of these links, it will redirect you to a page that looks like your social media login page, but when you log in with your details, the phishing scam strikes to steal your data.
Though these types of scams are clever and work often, there are a few tricks for detecting phishing messages. They often try to scare you by saying that your account has been illegally accessed or security has been compromised. They also insist that you click on a link to verify your information or fill out a form. Such links should not be clicked on suspicious emails. Also, an email that has misspelled words or addresses you as a “Valued customer” should arouse your suspicion. Lastly, it’s important to check the “from” address of the message’s sender. If the email address is anything other than @themajorcompanyname.com (such as firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, or firstname.lastname@example.org) it’s likely a scam. For example, scammers will use email addresses like email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
What Makes VoIP Phishing Different?
Cyberspace has become a popular platform for crime rings with high-tech capability to break into these environments to commit various kinds of fraud. VoIP phishing is the most rampant and one of the most harmful types of cybercrime in the current digital climate.
Trillions of dollars are lost every year by average Americans duped by VoIP phishing scams. It involves a relatively simple trick to simulate phone calls from fake business numbers to consumers all over the world.
The concept of the dupe is the same as email phishing: someone imitates a company with which you have an account; fools you into handing over your login, PIN, social security number, or bank account details; then uses that data to steal your identity and go on a field day.
The criminals and the victims can be in different states or even different countries. The criminal group can be in one country and get access through a VoIP gateway while changing their phone number and eventually reaching the target victim who is sitting in a different country. Therefore, this becomes a multinational crime, making it very difficult to catch and prosecute.
Why is VoIP an Easy Target?
- Faking Numbers: It’s unfortunately quite simple to create a fake number using VoIP. This makes it easier for the criminal to hide his tracks when they call your employees, pretending to be a trustworthy organization and ask for confidential business information. The criminals can imitate a local number as a bank and use it carry out scams.
- Tough to Track: VoIP hardware is easily accessible, and the criminal can easily set them up. They can connect these to a computer and record sensitive calls or eavesdrop on important conversations. Basic hardware combined with fake numbers are difficult to track.
- Caller ID: Using VoIP, criminals can tamper with the caller ID and trick the end users into thinking that the call is from a trustworthy organization.
- Cost Effective: The criminals can scam the users anywhere around the world at a fraction of the cost that is involved in scamming over traditional telephones.
Protecting yourself from VoIP Phishing Scams
Staying proactive with stringent IT security processes for all business communications is the number one way to protect your workspace and your family from phishing scams. Contact TNTMAX for examples of security processes that will protect your sensitive work communication. TNTMAX’s IT services in Bergen County can help you avoid becoming the next victim. Providing adequate knowledge to your employees should be an essential step to prevent scams. This means requiring your staff to undergo a training program, which is just one of many IT services in Bergen County provided by TNTMAX.
Phishing attacks evolve quickly. Therefore, an informative and interactive cybersecurity training should:
- Correct misinformation about behaviors viewed as harmless.
- Reduce embarrassment for non-savvy members who struggle to keep up with technology trends.
- Keep staff updated on the latest cybersecurity threats.
- Change the narrative that cybersecurity is just an IT problem.
- Help staff members use technology, and social media with confidence and in ways that boost their productivity.
- Remove the “bury head in the sand syndrome” that cyber attacks only happen to other people.
Benefits to your company when staff members go through the cybersecurity training program TNTMAX offers as one of their IT services for Bergen County businesses.
- Reduces your risk
- Safeguards your business operations
- Prevents downtime
- Maintains the trust customers have in your authority and services
- Protects your staff from attacks in their personal lives that can interfere with their focus and productivity
Partner with cybersecurity professionals who can assess your company’s vulnerabilities and offer in-depth training to which your staff actually want to listen. For businesses in New Jersey, look no further than TNTMAX, delivering IT services in Bergen County and beyond. TNTMAX is here to help your company with a comprehensive program to make cybersecurity a business culture.