How We Defend Ourselves From Phishing Attacks

Last Tuesday, to our surprise, we received an email from Janet Yellen, the Chair of the Board of Governors of the U.S. Federal Reserve. Why was she contacting Instabill? To inform us that ‘our hour of compensation and actualization has come’ and, after her meeting with the U.N., Bank of America, South African Reserve Bank and Federal Reserve Bank officials, there was a boatload of money coming our way.

More than $6 million actually. All I needed to provide Ms. Yellen was my name, address, country, mobile number, alternative e-mail and my ID (social security probably) or international passport.

To think phishing attacks like this still work. Sadly, this e-mail must have gone to 10 million other folks like me, and out of that group, a few naive folks will give in, making it worth the fraudsters’ while.

Who are the Targets of Phishing Attacks?

According to findings by the Anti-Phishing Working Group (APWG), via a recent article in Digital Transactions, phishing attacks decreased nearly 22 percent in frequency in the third quarter compared to Q2 of 2016. We’re hopeful it’s a trend.

The APWG also found that payment service providers, such as Instabill, are the targets of phishing attacks 10 percent of the time, behind retail and e-commerce businesses (43%), banks (21%) and internet service providers (12%).

How We Defend Against Phishing Attacks

It’s no secret that PSPs handle loads of sensitive information. Not just payments information, but merchants personal data. In this day and age, a company is only as good as its security it enforces.

Over the summer, Instabill partnered with NeoScope, a neighbor of ours here in Portsmouth, NH, USA, which has since been an education. Not that we’re going to fall for Ms. Yellen’s e-mail, but since forging the partnership with NeoScope, our data security is iron clad. We have become quite savvy in identifying the most subtle clues leading to fraud, such as:

  • E-Mails such as Ms. Yellen’s, with grammatical errors, broken English and seeking sensitive information.
  • E-Mails with some type of offer, urging us to click an attachment that is likely malicious.
  • Websites we feel are fronts for the sale of illicit/illegal goods and services.

We also consider this: If it’s too good to be true, more than likely it is.

Fraud Protection with Instabill

Along with our merchant services for high risk businesses, Instabill offers fraud protection measures such as PCI compliance, SSL certificates, 3D Secure processing and also chargeback prevention strategy.

Speak with a live merchant account manager today about securing your merchant account information at 1-800-318-2713.

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