Andrew Beckett, Managing Director and EMEA leader and Alan Brill, Senior Managing Director, in the Cyber Risk practice of Kroll, a division of Duff & Phelps, highlight the rise of SMS phishing scams in an article for FTAdviser. Over 2.4 million self-employed individuals and freelancers in the UK are currently taking advantage of the Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC) program to help them cope with the financial impact of COVID-19. However, as individuals seek relief, bad actors seek to profit from the current vulnerabilities. Utilizing SMS phishing (smishing) scams, they are luring unsuspecting professionals and individuals to an HMRC branded government gateway and stealing their sensitive data.

According to Andrew and Alan, as email firewalls and fraud detection systems get more sophisticated, bad actors are increasingly leveraging smishing scams. A recent Verizon report found that 85% of attacks on mobile devices now take place via media other than email, as professionals are less accustomed to the tell-tale signs of a scam in their text messages compared to email. Andrew and Alan go on to discuss the approach employed by bad actors given the COVID-19 crisis and the best practices for individual and professionals to protect themselves from such scams.

Read the full article here.

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