Doing business has never been easier in the modern world. The internet has made most products and services within reach. For the first time in history, businesses aren’t limited to customers within a hundred-mile radius.
That said, it isn’t without its drawbacks. The modern world is plagued with modern problems. In this new age, cybersecurity is invaluable. As business owners, it is crucial to remain aware of the cyber scams and online fraud trends that pose a threat to your operation.
In 2022, here are the top 5 online fraud trends that you should watch out for:
“Cryptocurrency scams are now a popular way for scammers to trick people into sending money. And they pop up in many ways. Most crypto scams can appear as emails trying to blackmail someone, online chain referral schemes, or bogus investment and business opportunities. But here’s what they all have in common – and what they have in common with yesterday’s Twitter hacks: A scammer wants you to send money, or make a payment, with Bitcoin or another type of cryptocurrency. Once you do, your money is gone, and there’s generally no way to get it back” – Federal Trade Commission
Cryptocurrency has gained popularity over the last few years. For the uninformed, it is a form of currency that exists digitally and uses cryptography to secure transactions.
Cryptocurrency can also be used as payment for different businesses. Accepting this kind of currency as a payment method in your business can hasten transactions. Companies are no longer at the mercy of banks with a strict 9 to 5 schedule. Bitcoin Sync and Gilded are some applications that help automate transactions for cryptocurrency.
Nevertheless, cryptocurrency as a payment method can be tricky as it can be easily made into one of the most powerful online fraud trends. It is quite challenging to understand. As with most payment methods, there are risks involved with crypto.
Traditional scam models like Ponzi schemes are trickling into the world of crypto. In some cases, new investor funds are used to pay dividends to older investors. Likewise, since most crypto transactions are done online, applications dealing with this currency can be riddled with malware.
“When a consumer is a victim with ransomware, it means the cybercriminal has something they can demand payment for, such as your documents, including tax returns, or maybe important photos and videos [like home movies] that are now encrypted” – Steve Grobman, chief technology officer of McAfee
COVID-19 saw the rise of ransomware. However, even in the wake of the pandemic, this form of online scam remains a threat to business owners.
Ransomware comes second in this list of online fraud trends. This type of cybercrime limits users from accessing their systems. The system is either locked or blocked until the user pays a ransom. Once the hackers have gained access to the system, they create and utilize the information to obtain credentials. Ransomware is used by hackers to add distinct software code to your devices, encrypting your data and making your devices useless. Some fraudsters tend to threaten businesses or companies that they will release some data to the public if their demands are not met.
“With a decentralized platform, there’s really no safeguards in place to say who is a good actor and who is a bad actor. It’s really just buyer beware” – Jonathan Padilla, former PayPal head of blockchain strategy.
Like cryptocurrency, blockchain is a buzzword that has been making the rounds in tech over the last few years. It isn’t a surprise because these two concepts are connected.
Blockchain is a database that stores information electronically and is best known for its crucial role in cryptocurrency systems. It provides a unique string of code that ensures data and records can only be accessed by those who are authorized or permitted.
Despite its good use, blockchains are used by some to restrict record access. Similar to ransomware, fraudsters sometimes use this kind of database to block smart contracts and manipulate changes. It can also hinder the automation of accounting, reporting, and confirming transactions. Businesses should make sure that they use blockchain with the right people and resources to avoid fraud.
4. Data Analytics
“Actively collating the data and interpreting the findings allows companies to do more analysis with less human intervention. These processes can become a vital business decision-making aid and can even result in business cost savings through the automation of manual work” REDW Operations Manager Chris Framel, PMP
Trends and metrics can be revealed using data analytics. It has become commonplace in businesses and with the right usage, it may be a key growth opportunity. With data analytics, you can manage your accounting information systems and advance your tools when it comes to monitoring.
The strengths of the best data analytic suites include marrying multiple data sources, pairing financial and statistical data, and providing live updates. It can also be a competitive advantage for your business as it can increase positive possibilities and ideas. Data analytics is a tool that businesses can use to identify fraud.
5. Fraudulent Business Emails
“Whether it’s a phishing scheme, fraud or malware, most cyber-attacks start with an email. Even companies that have information security training and fairly savvy employees fall victim to these deceptions” Timothy Zeilman, vice president for HSB, part of Munich Re.
Contrary to popular belief, the most successful online fraud trends aren’t a product of the most modern technology. The most effective scams appeal to the humanity of the user.
In recent years, more so since the pandemic, businesses have opted for virtual resources as one of their platforms of communication. Remote work has increased, and employees are working from home on most days. Without an onsite check and balance, plenty of employees falls victim to legitimate-looking phishing emails.
Protecting your business requires a balancing act of hiring the right people and choosing the right software. Ensuring a good framework with frequent training and knowledge can boost the safety of your business. It is crucial that your business framework remains for its purpose and reviewing it regularly can help identify glitches and update security.
SecureBrain offers a slew of cybersecurity products that offer unmatched complementary protection against the most common and complex online fraud trends. Through our solutions, your business gets to enjoy full transparency and speedy response to any incoming threats. It is the peace of mind you are looking for.
Interested? Reach out to us to learn more!