Encyclopedia of Cyber Phishing Scams

by | Dec 7, 2023 | INSI

Current Statistics of Phishing Cyber Scams

According to a Deloitte Center for Controllership poll. “During the past 12 months, 34.5% of polled executives report that their organizations’ accounting and financial data were targeted by cyber adversaries. Within that group, 22% experienced at least one such cyber event and 12.5% experienced more than one.” And “nearly half (48.8%) of C-suite and other executives expect the number and size of cyber events targeting their organizations’ accounting and financial data to increase in the year ahead. And yet just 20.3% of those polled say their organizations’ accounting and finance teams work closely and consistently with their peers in cybersecurity.” (Quote: Forbes Magazine) So, it is important to take phishing seriously.

The History of Phishing Cyber Scams

The first phishing scam was recorded on January 2, 1996, although it was not a household name until ten years later. Interestingly, the word “phishing” was popularized by cybercriminals, known as “phreaks” in the cybersecurity industry. The “ph” replaced the “f” to differentiate this term, and has been used since. 

During that time, AOL was the number one provider of the Internet, and “phreaks” used this platform to trade pirated software or communicate with each other. The first phishing attacks targeted passwords and used them to create random credit card numbers. They would use the credit card number to open AOL accounts and communicate with others posing as AOL employees. They would then ask the user to verify their billing information and use that information to set up AOL Instant Messenger accounts (AIM), where they would trick users into sharing more personal information.

Encyclopid of Phishing Cyber Crimes

Phishing has come a long way since the first antivirus was introduced. In recent years, cybercriminals have become more malicious and savvy than ever. Today, phishing cyber scams can appear in emails, texts, pop-ups, websites, fake WiFi, search engines, image files, and email interception, aka man-in-the-middle. Often, they lead to Ransomware, which can be disastrous for a company. Below is an encyclopedia of phishing scams that are relevant today.

  • Email Phishing – A cyber criminal pretends to be someone else to get you to divulge personal information that they will sell on the dark web or use for malicious purposes.
  • Spear Phishing – Targeted phishing focuses on a specific person to get the information the criminal wants, often used for identity theft.
  • Angler Phishing – Cyber criminals pretend to be a customer service agent at a social media company to steal personal information or download malicous malware.
  • Clones Phishing – A cyber attack where the criminal pretends to send a legitimate email from a brand they know and trust. The email has a malicious link or pretent they are resending the original email.
  • Vishing – Vishing is a phone scams from a seemingly legitimate source to trick into giving up personal information.
  • HTPPS Phishing – A malicious website designed to make you give up personal information.
  • Pop-Up Phishing – A pop-up advertisement that tricks users into downloading malware.
  • Deceptive Phishing – The cyber criminal sends a phishing email that appears to come from a legitimate company’s email address that may contain malware or trick you into giving up private account information.
  • Social Engineering Phishing – Another way bad actors get you to give up sensitive information. Often, cyber criminals try to trick you into believing that a close friend or family member needs immediate cash help with a tear-jerking storyline to create immediate action.
  • Pharming – Pharming is a phishing method to redirect you to a malicious website.
  • Water Hole Phishing – This is a specifically targeted phishing scam that installs malicious code on a website that employees often use in order to install malware and access company information.
  • Image Phishing – A method where the hacker uses an image in the body of an email to entice the user to click on it and install malicious code.
  • Spoofing – Fraudelent websites that trick you into giving up personal information or download malware.
  • Smishing – A text that contains a link to a fraudulent site. Cyber criminals often use prizes or give aways to entice the sender to click.
  • Whaling – The cybercriminal pretends to impersonate a company executive to trick other executives to give up company information or give money to a cyber criminal.
  • Evil Twin Phishing – Fake WiFi networks that allow the criminal to monitor your web traffic and capture login credentials.
  • Search Engine Phishing – Counterfeit websites found on a web browser that trick the user into “buying” a product, but instead, the user if giving up their credit card information.
  • Domain Spoofing – The cyber criminal impersonates someone a company you know with a fake email domain. The domain typically sneaks in an extra character that the typical eye does not catch.

INSI Can Protect You from Phishing

Phishing is the most common type of cyber crime that represents 83% of cyber attacks in 2023. It is important to have a provider that can educate, protect, and reverse phishing scams with our Phish-It program. Call 770-387-2424 option 2 to find out more about this program.

About INSI: The Best MSP in Atlanta!

Innovative Network Systems, Inc. has a unique approach to integrating IT support and cybersecurity. Our month-to-month programs range from basic support to proactive support, managed support, and customized support. Each program is tailored to the client’s needs and internal IT strengths.  

For more information about cybersecurity dangers and the preventative measures for your company, connect with the top MSP in Atlanta; Contact INSI: 770-387-2424, option 2 or click the link below. In addition, we offer 16 different cybersecurity programs to protect you and your data.

About the Author

Deborah Frazier is the author of IT Outsourcing Secrets – A Small Business Guide to Compare IT Support Companies. With nearly 20 years of experience consulting small and medium-sized businesses on their IT support needs, she brings a wealth of knowledge to INSI as Head of Marketing and Sales. If you like this article and want to be notified when a new article is posted, click here.

To make an appointment for more information about INSI and our Marietta and Atlanta metro IT Support services, click here.