The State of Phishing Threats in 2018

Phishing schemes are still one of the most dangerous threats to companies and banking institutions around the world. With the advent of social media and cryptocurrency, many different scammers are finding their way into the wallets of innocent bystanders and causing concern in the business world.

It could be a startup, a regional bank or a mega company like Google or Facebook—practically no one is immune to these very real threats in 2018. In fact, in a report put out last year by the FBI, criminals made off with around $675 million due to email compromise campaigns and others like it to gain access to personal or business funds. Here are some major ways phishing is showing up this year:

Financial Institutions

The banking industry is one of the main targets in the world of phishing scams. While safety protocols are built into websites and apps, it’s usually human error that allows hackers to infiltrate systems and gain access. What’s more, it’s also human error that fails to detect scams while they’re in progress, resulting in losses both big and small financially.

This is why banks should seriously look into bankers insurance for the purpose of keeping not only their customers’ information safe, but also their own bottom line. With the rise of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies that are being used in place of traditional money, thieves are now targeting e-wallets and online banking more than ever.

Access to a bank account or the a financial institution’s network is like being handed free money. Cyber thieves can do more damage remotely with only a few tricks to crack in and get what they want. From malware to password cracking, there are many ways cyber thieves have options.

Social Media

Social media used to mainly just be for posting pictures and connecting with old friends from high school. Now, it’s used for so much more including live videos, television series’, dating, etc. Virtually every aspect of our lives are connected to social media, and that includes our financial integrity.

This type of phishing occurs when users receive enticing invitations to click on links that may seem intriguing, but are actually infected. The user provides personal information on the clickbait and the cyber thieves are in, just like that.

Social media messaging is increasingly replacing traditional email, so scammers are creating opportunities to dive into contacting users via the social platforms. Social media phishing is becoming the greater danger and people need to be educated on not only on etiquette, but just how dangerous it is to provide personal information.

Fraudsters can use social media to put hundreds of thousands of uses in the crosshairs all at once. Phishers find social media so attractive because of the sheer number of people who use the platforms. Facebook now has more than 2 billion accounts online, followed by Instagram at 700 million, and Twitter at 328 million. Even just Facebook’s 2 billion users accounts for more than a quarter of the earth’s population—that’s a lot of possible scams waiting to happen.

As people and companies continue to depend on the digital landscape and technology to grow their presences and brands, it’s vital for all to know the dangers of presenting personal and financial information. It may be as simple as giving up your password that leads to a drained bank account.


About Financial Guaranty Insurance Brokers

Since 1983, Financial Guaranty Insurance Brokers has distinguished itself as a provider of Professional Liability, Cyber Liability, and Crime insurance products for entities of all types. To receive timely, personalized service from a knowledgeable and experienced staff, call us today at (626) 793-3330 to speak with one of our professionals.