FRESNO, California – Cody Sarhan, Communications Specialist
While the Internet, and particularly email, is a digital playground for cybercriminals, phone calls and text messages have remained the go-to weapon scammers have used for years — a weapon that’s only getting stronger as technology advances. The advent of robocalls and text-based scamming is part of the new frontier for bad actors to explore. Small businesses, often with limited resources for cybersecurity, are particularly vulnerable to these insidious attacks.
“An average employee of a small business with less than 100 employees will experience 350% more social engineering attacks than an employee of a larger enterprise.” — Anne Campbell, PR Manager for Barracuda
Phone-based scams come in all flavors of deception and can be deployed through text messages, and phone calls. Scammers often manipulate phone numbers and pretend to be reputable businesses to appear trustworthy, underscoring the heightened importance for business owners to seek out a dependable and secure Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phone service provider.
To put things into perspective, the year 2022 witnessed a staggering $330 million in reported losses due to text scams, according to data from the FTC’s Consumer Sentinel Network. What’s even more alarming is that the median reported loss was $1,000, more than double the losses reported in 2021 and nearly five times what victims reported in 2019. This sharp increase in financial losses highlights the growing success of text-based scams.
How Scammers Acquire Your Phone Number
Data brokers play a significant role in the proliferation of phone call and text-based phishing scams. These companies collect and sell personal information, including phone numbers, to the highest bidder. Legitimate businesses often use data brokers for marketing purposes, but cybercriminals exploit these databases to target unsuspecting victims.
Examples of Fake Text Messages
How These Phishing Scams Work
Phone call and text-based phishing scams involve scammers posing as legitimate organizations, such as banks, government agencies, or well-known companies. The hope is that scammers catch you when you’re too busy to really pay attention to the message, and you’ll just click on it without thinking.
They use various tactics to manipulate victims into sharing sensitive information, like passwords, Social Security numbers, or financial details. This can happen through:
- Impersonation. Scammers pretend to be trusted entities, creating a false sense of urgency or fear to pressure victims into sharing information.
- Spoofing. They manipulate caller IDs to make it seem like they are calling from a trusted source, adding an extra layer of deception.
- Fake Links. Text messages may contain malicious links that, when clicked, can install malware on the victim’s device or direct them to a counterfeit website.
How These Scams Negatively Impact Small Businesses
Small businesses face a disproportionate risk when it comes to phone call and text-based phishing scams. This vulnerability stems from their limited resources, which often lack dedicated IT and cybersecurity teams. Without these critical defenses, they become prime targets for cybercriminals seeking to exploit their weaknesses.
The consequences of falling victim to such scams are multifaceted. Financial losses, whether through direct theft or the costs of recovery, can be particularly devastating to small businesses. These losses can disrupt operations and strain already tight budgets.
Perhaps equally damaging is the harm to their reputation. A security breach not only jeopardizes sensitive data but also erodes the trust and confidence customers place in the business. Rebuilding that trust is a painstaking process, often resulting in the loss of loyal clientele and hindering future growth prospects. Given these challenges, it’s imperative for small businesses to adopt proactive measures to safeguard themselves against these scammers.
How Xobee Networks Can Help Protect You From These Scammers
At Xobee Networks, we know our stuff. Scammers constantly adapt their tactics, so remaining vigilant and cautious is essential to our core operations. By combining our state-of-the-art security features with our advanced VoIP Phone Service we can help aid in protecting you and your business from phone-based and text scams. Contact one of our highly skilled technicians today to learn more about our VoIP Phone Service.
Xobee Networks now has engineers servicing clients within Fresno, Clovis, Madera, San Jose, Sacramento, San Francisco & the Bay Area, Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Las Vegas, Bakersfield, San Diego, San Luis Obispo, Anaheim, Palm Springs, and more.
Cody Sarhan | Communications Specialist, Xobee Networks