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Payment Protection And Stimulus Programs Are Being Used By Scammers

By May 7, 2020May 5th, 2022Cybersecurity

Just about everyone in the country has been negatively impacted by the pandemic.

That is why the government is sending relief via the Payment Protection Program, the stimulus program, and other programs.

These programs are aimed directly at small and medium sized businesses to help keep them afloat until life can get back to normal.

Unfortunately, the world’s hackers, scammers and phishers never let an opportunity go to waste, and they’re getting in on the action.

According to IBM’s X-Force, multiple spam campaigns are currently ongoing, with the scammers convincingly impersonating the US Small Business Administration, promising government relief fund to struggling businesses. The program itself actually exists and is 100 percent legitimate, but of course, the emails sent out by these scam groups simply offer a convincing spoof of the actual program.

Here’s how it works:

The victim gets an email that, by all appearances, comes from the Federal Government. It outlines what the program does and indicates that a business owner who clicks the embedded link is just a few minutes away from being able to secure the financial aid his company needs.

To get the help, all you have to do is follow the link, enter your online banking login credentials, and let the government wire you some badly needed funds. Except of course, no funds are ever forthcoming. All the scammers wanted was a way into your online accounts so they could drain them dry.

In fact, if you enter your login credentials, you’ll get an error message stating that there was a problem and that you must have entered your user name and password incorrectly. In the meanwhile, of course, the login information you just entered has already been sent to the owners of the webpage to use as they set fit.

It’s a pity that the hackers and scammers have no shame, and that even in the face of a global pandemic, we have to deal with them in addition to the stress and chaos going on all around us. . Given that there’s no end in sight where the pandemic is concerned, this is going to be an ongoing problem. Stay on your guard.

Chris Forte

Chris Forte, President and CEO of Olmec Systems, has been in the MSP workspace for the past 25 years. Chris earned his Master’s Degree from West Virginia University, graduating Magna Cum Laude. He was a past member of the Entrepreneurs’ Organization, a current member of the New Jersey Power Partners and Executive Association of New Jersey, where he has previously served on its board of directors. In his spare time, Chris enjoys traveling with his family. He also admits to being a struggling golfer and avid watcher of college football and basketball. He currently lives in Boonton Township, NJ with his wife, two daughters, son, and black lab Luna.