Richard Branson: fraudsters impersonating me in attempts to take your personal information

richard branson

Richard Branson: fraudsters impersonating me in attempts to take your personal information

richard bransonMillionaire Richard Branson reminds his followers of online scammers impersonating him in attempts to take personal information and money. “We are very concerned that more and more people are being scammed by fraudsters impersonating me,” Branson wrote. According to the article, the fraudsters send messages via social media or email to Branson’s followers by pretending to be him or a senior in his team. The fraudsters also use his name and photos.

“They try to take personal information and money from our followers, and their actions are very convincing,” he wrote. Richard Branson said that one of the cases was a fraudster who posed as his PA and contacted the followers. The fraudster invited them to join as a member of Virgin Group Worldwide to get financial assistance. The fraudster also asked those who wished to join to complete a registration form that requested a great deal of detailed personal information. This mode is what is called social engineering in the form of phishing.

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Phishing scenario targeting company

The term phishing comes from the English ‘fishing’. This fraud mode is used by a fraudster to lure targets to provide their credential information. Phishing is a classic fraud mode, but it is still prevalent in the digital era nowadays.

Another example of a phishing scenario that often occurs is that fraudsters send emails to employees while pretending to be their bosses and asking for access to the company’s IT system. If the employees believe them and give access, the fraudsters can attack the company’s Domain Name System (DNS). By attacking DNS, fraudsters can steal a company’s data, and this impacts the company’s reputation, disrupts business continuity, and causes financial losses.

Based on the 2019 Global DNS Threat Report data as many as 43% of DNS attacks worldwide are carried out by phishing methods.
The survey conducted by Global Infosecurity revealed that as many as 83% of respondents experienced a phishing attack in 2018. This percentage represents an increase of 76% in 2017.

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Dealing with phishing

An individual employee who is trapped in phishing brings an adverse impact on the overall system of the company. Therefore, preventing and handling phishing is a collective responsibility of a company, not just the responsibility of the IT department.

According to RA Winkler and Etay Maor in their article titled “Singapore companies of social engineering: whose fault is it?” in Singapore Business Review, it is essential for companies to rely on a “human firewall.” In the article, they mentioned the importance of comprehensive efforts to prevent and deal with phishing; IT systems, limiting user access, educating employees, and actions in the event of an incident, including conducting an investigation.

For more than seventeen years, Integrity as a company engaging in risk mitigation and compliance has been trusted by its clients. We provide business investigation services which comprise audit and fraud investigation, theft investigation, asset tracing, and many more. Should your companies need more detailed information regarding business investigations, do not hesitate to contact us.




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