Avoiding Sophisticated Email Scams

Email Scammers
Email Scammers

Email scams have evolved tremendously over the past decade, and are becoming more sophisticated and believable than ever before. The Canadian Trade Commission recently issued a warning about a new email threat that is looming over the intellectual property community. The scammer appears to be an authorized registrar of CNNIC (China National Network Info Center) or other legitimate entities, and tries to convince the receiver that their firm domain or brand name is at risk of being registered by an unknown third party. The goal of the scam is to obtain detailed information about a firm in order to devise a specific attack. The scammer is known to execute their scheme in a variety of ways.

The scammer might appear to notify the firm out of goodwill, and warn them of the issues of others registering their brand name. They then offer to file the domain name themselves for a few, but just end of stealing information in the process. The scammers also attempts to warn firms that their domain is set to expire, and offers to renew it for a moderate fee. Another version of the scam claims that a third party has a domain name that is almost identical to the firm’s domain, and warns that this could
negatively impact their marketing opportunities.

Despite the prevalence of these emails, you can take steps to avoid such threats. First, if you notice a strange email you should contact your IT department immediately, and then quickly delete the email. Second, if you receive a suspicious link or attachment do not open it. Third, avoid any emails which require you to submit any sensitive information.

Stay safe!