by Michael Estrich, Techworx

As the tax deadline approaches (both federal and state deadline now extended to May 17th), it’s important to be on high alert for an increased number of email-based phishing and phone-based social engineering attempts. Small businesses are often targets for these schemes and are often not prepared. Here are some tips to be mindful of:

  • Always send financial or sensitive data in an encrypted email. If you do not know how to encrypt an email, reach out to our help desk for assistance.
  • Be careful of any suspicious links or odd requests from supervisors/owners to wire money, buy gift cards, etc. these are usually scams.
  • Don’t give out personal or company information over the phone to people you don’t know.
  • Don’t click on any links or go to any websites used to grant access to your computer/network unless you know and trust the individual requesting access.
  • Don’t always trust the caller ID on your phone, scammers can very easily mask a phone number to look legitimate even though it’s not, this is called spoofing.

Remember if you receive an unsolicited call from a vendor or financial institution, they should never ask you for a username, social security number, birth date, account number or password. They have all of that information already in their system and should not need to verify that information since they are calling you.
Stay safe and when in doubt… trust your gut. If you feel that something is off in an email or on a phone call ask a colleague, supervisor, or owner if they think it might be a scam.