These past few weeks continues to present us with unprecedented personal and professional challenges. During this time, the Red Oak team remains committed to prioritizing the safety of our employees and clients. Current market volatility and societal anxieties have, unfortunately, created opportunities for cyber-criminals and other malicious bad actors.
With a recent increase in phishing attacks and other forms of social engineering, we wanted to share specific actions you can take to reduce the chances of falling prey to cyber-criminals and scammers.
Be on alert for phishing emails that play off the public’s concerns over COVID-19. Examples might include:
- Emails or texts purporting to be from the World Health Organization (WHO) or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
- Online offers of vaccinations, test kits, or “cures” for COVID-19.
- Mobile apps that supposedly track the spread of COVID-19.
- Solicitations for donations to related (fake) charities or causes.
We also urge you to be on alert for potential fake emails, text messages, or calls impersonating clients. If the tone, style, or content seems unusual compared to your regular communication with clients, it’s possible you may be dealing with an impostor. If you have any doubts as to the authenticity of a caller:
- Ask the caller for their name and personal information. End the call if they cannot answer.
- Call your client back at their phone number listed in the account documents to verify the validity of the request.
- Consider implementing a process to verify a client’s identity, such as a “passphrase,” they must provide to process any requests received from them.
In these challenging times, it’s a good idea to proactively check in with your clients and help them through concerns by answering questions and providing guidance. We’re all in this together, and we will come through stronger for the experience. If you have any questions, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 888.302.4594 to leave a voicemail and someone from the Red Oak Team will get back to you promptly.