Emails are a critical aspect of our personal and business activities in the digital age. Unfortunately, this leaves us vulnerable to account takeover fraud. This malicious activity, perpetrated by cybercriminals, poses a significant risk to individuals and companies.
Account takeover fraud is when cybercriminals access someone's email or social media accounts without permission and then use them for illegal activities like siphoning off money or gaining access to confidential data.
And it’s not just personal email and social media accounts that get hacked but also business-related platforms like e-commerce websites and banking portals. Cybercriminals take advantage of accounts they get hold of because of various skilful techniques, leading to financial loss, reputational damage, and other adverse outcomes.
Cybercriminals employ various techniques to obtain account information, and it's essential to understand these methods to enhance your defenses.
Once cybercriminals gain control of an account, they can carry out various malicious activities, including Financial Fraud. Criminals may exploit stolen accounts to make unauthorized purchases, initiate fraudulent money transfers, or gain access to sensitive financial information. Similarly, fraudsters can obtain sensitive information such as social security numbers, addresses, and credit card details, facilitating Identity Theft.
Cybercriminals engage in other nefarious activities. They may use stolen accounts to send spam emails or phishing messages to the victim's contacts. This can spread malware, gather additional account credentials, or perform man-in-the-middle attacks. Furthermore, they may sell these accounts to other fraudsters who can exploit them or use the data for other illegal activities.
Detecting account takeover fraud early on is crucial to minimize the potential damage. Monitor your accounts regularly for any unfamiliar transactions, changes in personal information, or unauthorized access attempts. Be vigilant and report any suspicious activity immediately.
Additionally, check if your contacts receive spam emails or messages from your account. It's a strong indication of unauthorized access. Keep an eye on any modifications to your account settings, such as changes in contact information, security questions, or linked devices. These alterations could signal an account takeover.
Sudden, unexplained transactions, withdrawals, or purchases on your accounts can indicate that fraudsters have gained control. Be aware of unfamiliar login locations, devices, IP addresses, or notifications about multiple failed login attempts or account lockouts. These may indicate a malicious takeover attempt.
One more essential thing to check for is whether important emails have disappeared from your account without your knowledge.
The threat of account takeover fraud is serious. However, there are ways to protect yourself and your business.
Now, not all companies can manually check their status of security. In this era of technology and automation, we expect AI to reduce repetitive tasks. This will allow you to focus on becoming an expert in your industry. That is why it is recommended to install reputed email security software to detect and prevent cybercriminals from compromising your accounts.
Stay informed about the newest cybersecurity tools. Choose one that provides protection, prevention, and pre-emption of potential threats. Tools with real-time alerts and high-end fraud detection are best suited for maintaining the e-security of your business.