BBB Scam Alert: That Zoom invite is really a phishing scam

Thanks to the global pandemic keeping people at home, the popular video conferencing platform Zoom has seen usage grow exponentially in 2020.

PrivacyLok: See how our Video Conferencing Security Solution for Zoom Users (and any other Video Conferencing Users) Detects, Blocks, and Alerts these Phishing Scams Avoiding its Ramifications.


Updated: November 29, 2020 07:20 AM

Created: November 29, 2020 07:17 AM

(WHEC) — The Better Business Bureau is warning Zoom users of a new phishing scam.

Zoom, a video conferencing service, has seen a dramatic increase in users due to the COVID-19 pandemic. With an uptick in users, hackers and scammers are using tricks to try and steal your information.

The BBB says users have been receiving messages claiming that your account has been suspended. The emails also provide a link to reactivate your account that you should not click on. Other scams tell you that you've missed a meeting that was never scheduled with a similar link to reschedule.

Here are some helpful tips from the BBB on how to avoid phishing scams:

With many businesses having switched to allow employees to work from home in 2020, it's more important than ever for employers and employees to look out for phishing scams. These can come in the form of prize offers, threatened punishments, or even a text message. Sometimes the sender relies on a victim’s curiosity to prompt a click or download of something dangerous.

Beware of any unsolicited or unexpected communications asking for personal information or telling you to download an attachment. Many of these messages are from imposters pretending to be trustworthy businesses and organizations. They are “phishing” for your Social Security or Social Insurance number, passwords, credit card information, or other personal details for use in identity theft. Don’t fall for the bait!

How the Scam Works:

Con artists have a creative variety of cover stories to disguise their true intentions. Phishing messages typically use one of three methods to fool victims:

  1. The message promises a reward (gift card, free item);

  2. Threatens a punishment (unpaid taxes, missed jury duty, deactivated bank account);

  3. Appears harmless (a file from the office scanner or from a coworker).

Phishing scams tend to follow a pattern. The victim receives an email, phone call or text message (called “smishing” or SMS phishing). In the communication, the scammer urges the target to click a link, share information, or download an attachment which likely contains malware. In the case of an email or text, the link frequently leads to a form, which prompts the target to enter personal information.

Think twice before you download anything from the internet, especially if it’s an attachment from an anonymous sender. Scammers will hide malware in an attachment and once you download it, it can wreak havoc on your computer or steal your personal information.

Tips to Avoid This Scam:

  • If something sounds suspicious, confirm it by calling the company directly or checking the company website. Don’t click on links in an unexpected email – type the URL for the company into your browser or do a web search to find the right website.

  • Don’t click, download, or open anything that comes from an anonymous sender. This is likely an attempt to gain access to your personal information or install malware on your computer.

  • Be cautious of generic emails. Scammers try to cast a wide net by including little or no specific information in their fake emails. Always be wary of unsolicited messages that don't contain your name, last digits of your account number or other personalizing information.

Related: Some phishing scams specifically target CEOs and other executives in an effort to get company information or personal details on all employees of a company. Click here to read BBB's study on Business Email Compromise (BEC) scams.

To report a scam, go to BBB Scam Tracker.

To learn how to protect yourself, go to “10 Steps to Avoid Scams."

See how PrivacyLok, an inexpensive automated security tool for Zoom Users, can help to avoid Phishing Scams.

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