This is a cautionary tale. Today we are all susceptible to hackers, scammers, and other nefarious people. And every day they get better at spoofing their victims. I have received hacked LinkedIn messages urging me to click on the link. Dropbox messages inviting me to download the invoice. Even an Adobe Document Cloud message sharing payment details. And then there are the regular emails from my bank, or not my bank, some accountant, the municipal authority, and the IRS declaring an urgent matter requires my attention. It used to be the occasional Nigerian Prince, but today it is an out and out tsunami of attacks. Knock on wood; I’ve avoided the worst of it as far as I know. But last week was one of the closest snares yet.
Last week I got an email from what appeared to be a legitimate professional at a real company asking for a bid on a project. Sweet, I thought! I am always on the lookout for new opportunities, and this one grabbed my attention. I am very paranoid about getting hacked, especially since I’ve seen numerous friends and prospects fall victim. I looked it over, again and again, researched the company and the person. All checked out. My pulse quickened as I imagined what the size and scope could be. I went to click…and then paused, hovering over the link to read the URL. This doesn’t look right — red flag.
Before opening the pdf, I replied to the email that I was suspicious since I didn’t know her and would prefer to schedule a call and discuss her needs. Within five minutes, I received a reply agreeable to a call, but I needed to review the proposal first. Another red flag!
And then, five minutes later the real person replies stating the proposal email wasn’t from her. It turns out her email was hacked, and I almost fell for it. Needless to say, she had her IT folks all over it and apologized for the incident. Time to change passwords and report this to the Feds; https://www.justice.gov/criminal-ccips/reporting-computer-internet-related-or-intellectual-property-crime
It is infuriating how sophisticated these hackers are getting and how vulnerable anyone is to their deceit. We’ve got to find ways to identify, prosecute, and ban these people from email for life. Be careful out there.
I can’t help you avoid hackers but do have a lot of thoughts about how to make your business development efforts more effective and would enjoy sharing what I know. If you like this post, click the thumbs up, so I’ll know and then sign up for my new business newsletter. Find me on Twitter and LinkedIn for daily tips, tricks, and insights. And, please share your new business advice, successes, and failures. #LetsGrow!