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    Alert: Nova Scotians Hit by Surge of Sophisticated Spear Phishing Scams

    The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) in Nova Scotia is warning of spear phishing attacks that impersonate company managers. The scammers text company employees requesting a payment to cover an urgent business need.

    “The Nova Scotia RCMP’s Commercial Crime Section and Cybercrime Unit are warning the public of recent instances of scammers targeting retail businesses using sophisticated spear phishing techniques,” the RCMP said in an advisory.

    “Scammers contact an employee via text message from an unfamiliar number, pretending to be the owner or manager. They will say they had to change their phone number because they lost or damaged their cell phone.”

    The attackers research their targets beforehand so they can more effectively impersonate the managers.

    “The scammers often have significant knowledge of the business, including names or upcoming transactions, and will engage in casual conversation to trick the employee into believing they are speaking directly with the owner or manager,” the RCMP says. “The scammers will then request the employee to send money via cryptocurrency to quickly cover an urgent business cost.”

    The advisory adds, “The Nova Scotia RCMP encourages businesses to review their processes for dealing with emergency expenditures and discuss with employees the warning signs of spear phishing attempts,” the advisory says.

    The RCMP says users should be on the lookout for the following red flags associated with these attacks:

    • “A sudden change in the cell phone number of a manager or owner”
    • “Unsolicited communication through text message only”
    • “Urgency from a sudden business situation, and high-pressure tactics to quickly resolve the matter”
    • “Requests for money to be deposited into a Bitcoin ATM”
    • “Use of QR Codes for payment addresses”

    New-school security awareness training can give your organization an essential layer of defense against social engineering attacks. KnowBe4 enables your workforce to make smarter security decisions every day. Over 65,000 organizations worldwide trust the KnowBe4 platform to strengthen their security culture and reduce human risk.

    The RCMP has the story.

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