The other day I was discussing the details of a spear phishing attempt made on a local Traverse City business with a small group.
The attempt was simple enough, the criminal tricked the business owner’s personal assistant into thinking that they were the business owner, that they needed to purchase $1,800 in Apple gift cards, and that the Apple codes needed to be emailed.
This scam was only discovered when the assistant emailed her employer directly with a question regarding the transaction, instead of replying to the email sent from the scammer. Her employer was, understandably confused and was able to stop her from sending the codes to the scammer. This saved them $1,800.
As I told the story, one of the gentlemen in the group, turned to me and asked, “this happened in Traverse City?” He was incredulous that such a thing could happen here. Businesses don’t get scammed in Traverse City—it’s what happens in a suburb of Chicago, not Traverse City. I let the gentlemen know that the scammer didn’t know, or care that their victim was in Traverse City, Chicago, or any other part of the world. The scammer was probably from Eastern Europe and wouldn’t know Schaumburg Illinois from Fife Lake Michigan.
On the internet you are nothing more than an IP address (18.104.22.168), Facebook profile, LinkedIn profile, or a name on a website. Scammers don’t know or care that Traverse City is a small town. Scammers don’t know or care that you are only “a small business.”
As a matter of fact, the smaller you are, the easier a victim you are.
Small business owners often do not have the proper network security in place to protect themselves. This means that the scammer has an easier time taking advantage of you. Small business owners also believe that since they are small, they won’t be targeted.
Scammers use automated tools, and systematic approaches to attack everyone, regardless of size. This works well on small businesses because they don’t have the internet security in place on their network to detect and protect from these attacks.
Remember, it doesn’t matter where you live, or how small you are—scammers are targeting you. They are often successful, and the cost can be far more extreme than $1800 if they are successful.
If you’d like to learn more about how you can secure your Traverse City business, join us on October 10 at the Traverse City Chamber of Commerce at 1:00PM for a FREE seminar “20 TECH TACTICS TO SECURE YOUR BUSINESS.”
Seating is limited. Please reserve your ticket Here.