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The internet has had a profound effect on society, how people communication, business activity, and information sharing. While the positives of the internet cannot be overstated it also has risks that have to be considered and that you have to be prepared for both on the professional and private level. The rise of cybercrime has led to a variety of different scams and theft. Being aware of these crimes keeps your business safe.

By being aware of the various cybercrimes and having proper tools in place for account takeover prevention you can stay ahead of the ever-changing world of cybercrime. The bellow crimes can happen to both private citizens and businesses alike as cybercrime focuses on information theft, data theft, and illegally accessing consumer accounts.

The Various Types of Online Scams

There are various types of online scams that occur every day and no matter the method the key goal of these crimes is to gain illegal access to personal or business finances or gain private information such as an SSN.

  • Phishing: phishing is one of the most common of online scams and takes many different forms and uses many different methods. To simplify phishing involves cyber criminals pretending to represent legitimate companies or government entities and requesting confidential information. This information is then used in simple theft or identity theft, often phishing attempts will have official looking mock web pages set up to collect user login data or private information. Phishing is often done via email but can also be done through text messaging or even phone calls.
  • The Spanish Prisoner Scam: is a very old scam that dates back to the 1800s wherein a scammer would claim to represent a wealthy or important person who was imprisoned in Spain and request that a third party provide money to help free them with the promise of a greater reward for helping. A classic advance-fee scam The Spanish Prisoner Scam has endured to the modern era taking the form of email scams claiming to represent the rich and powerful and by providing a small fee the recipient would become rich themselves. The most popular modern version of this scam is referred to as the Nigerian Money Transfer scam or a 419 scam after the section of Nigerian criminal code referring to this particular crime.
  • Data Breaches: a danger many companies face is cybercriminals gaining illegal access to private company information and databases. These breaches can be done in many different ways and no two breaches are exactly alike. Data can be stolen through direct hacks, improper security configuration, unguarded accounts that are no longer in use, and gaining access through phishing to acquire user logins.

Account Takeovers

Related to the above cybercrime is account takeovers (or ATO) which make use of the information stolen through the phishing, data breaches, and identity theft methodology. An account takeover is performed by using an account holder’s username and password to log into an account as if you were the owner. After gaining access a cybercriminal will steal personal information, access accounts payable, and empty any collected payments.

The danger with account takeovers is that your customers may have their accounts accessed due to data breaches or purchased information lists from the dark web that have nothing to do with your business. Because people reuse passwords data breaches put more than one company at risk and that’s why the need for dark web monitoring to track when logins that match your user database are leaked is so important.

Final Thoughts

The need for proper cybersecurity is critical for your business, your customers, and your company’s reputation. Account takeovers do more than just damage your users financially they also damage your business’s reputation as one that can keep users safe. If a company has a reputation for getting hacked it can take years for your reputation to recover. By enacting proper security and monitoring tools now you can keep your accounts secure and have users reset their login information before any takeovers happen if leaks are discovered.

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