Fraud prevention is very important to big or even smaller . Self-storage industry is beginning to be affected by cybercrime and it is becoming a big problem. This can be prevented through effective training and education to make owners and managers aware of the developing problem. Same methods that were already adapted by cybercriminals to target other industries and some of the same methods used to defraud businesses before digital age can be used against our industry.
Small- to medium-sized businesses are in more risk than ever unlike before that only the most high-profile cybercrime cases involves child victimization or Russian spies. Although large corporations have the most up to date protection of their systems they always tune it up because they still have been fighting online fraud for many years. This is why smaller outfits (family-owned self-storage facilities or even smaller chain operations) should be vigilant to what is happening in the cyber underworld as well.
Larger companies stronger defense made cybercriminals turn to smaller businesses as their victims. This smaller outfits only have a small IT staff or sometimes non at all, making them an easier target. What they should be doing is to start teaching themselves of the latest scams and methods of today’s digital thieves.
Criminal Minds and Methods. Cyber thieves use many various techniques to trick their victims. Cyber criminals have the reputation that they large affect large bank because “that’s where the is.” What self-storage owners and managers should know is that these cyber criminals are now also targeting their industry. Now also seen on self-storage industry is the some same methods used to target the broader real estate industry. Even if there are few self-storage attacks that were known to public, in general small organizations is now cyber thieves target preys.
Recently, another example of cybercrime in real estate industry was through email messages with the goal to recruit money mules. Money mules are simply the money launderers, their work is to transfer the money collected from the Internet scams from the victim to the criminal. These people most of the time are unaware of the crime they committed because they believe what they did was just work from home opportunity.
“An international real property agency with wide background in reselling, exchanging, buying out and legal counseling assistance all over the USA and Canada.” This is a Spam message that has been distributed recently, offers a part-time real estate agent position. This is an example of a illegitimate offer rather what it do instead is it not only involves international, organized crime, it denigrates and erodes the integrity of true real estate professionals.
This one is another real estate-specific scam, it involves rental properties posted online. Cyber criminals can collect every payment to the property they do not own simply by copying the digital information from your online listing to create their own listing. This is actually a long time scheme and now the convenience and ubiquity of the Internet make it easier for cons to perpetrate these crimes.
People who find it harder and harder to make ends meet have been lured into secret shopper jobs, this happens during the recent recession. Most of these are scams but there are also legitimate offers on the website for the Mystery Shopping Providers Association. In self-storage industry an example of this scam involves a re-shipping scam where you may be persuaded over email to receive goods at your facility and later ship them out to another address. They are taking advantage of your innocence so you can commit a crime without you knowing so try to avoid strange offers like the latter.
Remember that cyber criminals are best at tricks, they prey on your sympathies and fears and you may not know it until you literally misplaced your confidence in someone.
They also used sense of urgency to lure you into becoming their prey. They will make you feel that you have to respond quickly to the queries in order to get the business. Any transactions that make you decide urgent more often than not leads to disaster, in any decision you make always remember to slow down, take it easy and rethink of it several times before deciding and remember, cyber criminals take advantage of our impulsiveness.
Phishing and Malicious Spam. Maybe the most famous, earliest and the most widespread from of scam over the Internet was phishing of online banking credentials. the cyber criminal will send you an authentic-looking emails, messages or link that warns you that something went wrong to your account and you need to confirm your information details by clicking on the link provided and logging on their account would mean they already have your details without you realizing it. As a result, all your authentication credentials were immediately emailed to a criminal who used them to transfer all of the money out of the account. Self-storage isn’t spared on this scam. Managers and their website administrators must be alert to phishing scams so they do not fall prey to such Internet fraud.
RE/MAX brand was spoofed by email account credential phishing and was used as scam for real estate industry. Once homebuyers logged in their email accounts to the look-a-like page that offers to give them access to exclusive listings but the thing is RE/MAX is not linked to your email provider, and the victims had their email accounts compromised.
It doesn’t matter how famous phishing is, scam watch is very important, because today’s spam messages are even more authentic looking and more malicious, it is harder to determine the authenticity. It isn’t just that but now you did not have to click a link from the email you received rather just by visiting a drive-by malware site where they do not even need to log in or agree to download anything in order to be infected with a banking Trojan or other malicious software. Immediately after being infected, your vital and secret authentication credentials for banking and other online transactions will be stolen, and you wil have no control over your machine because it is now being controlled by unseen forces and included in a global botnet that perpetuates more cybercrime.
The Blackhole Exploit Kit, since this criminal toolkit was invented phishing method has become more common over the past two years. For only $50 per day or $1,500 per year scammers can lease this software kit.
Fraudsters can lease this software kit for. The spammers who initiate the infection process have created email messages that spoof over 50 well-known brands and do not contain spelling errors or other mistakes to tip off a suspecting reader. The chart below describes how the Blackhole Exploit Kit is used to infect you with malware in a drive-by attack. Large organization technology departments are finding more ways for scam watch and fraud prevention so that they can protect their employees and systems and for the rest of us, scam watch is our own responsibility. We must learn to be wary of links in unsolicited email messages. Instead of clicking on the links provided, navigate to the content by using your browser to go to the website you trust for that company. If email account is spamming or Facebook or Twitter account is showing messages that you did not post, the best thing you do is change your passwords.
Self-storage uses social media accounts to promote their products. And to be able to protect those accounts from invasion and manipulation, they should take additional steps.
• If you have a professional Internet presence, then maintain those accounts in a professional way and maintain your personal social networking profiles separately.
• Do not fall for scam artists who promise to deliver hundreds of “Likes” of your page for a small fee.
• Safeguard your passwords carefully by using HTTPS and strong passwords and by using different passwords for every site. You can find free software for password management to help you with this.
Customer Data. “The most attractive ‘loot’ for today’s thieves are customer data—at least for the cyber-criminals.” This is from the article on selfstorage.com on Oct. 12, 2012, “Cyber-crime overshadows property theft” by Mark Lusky. This loot can be plundered from your payment system such as credit card machine or systems compromised. This can also affect your email account such as accessed after login credentials have been phished or obtained with malicious software, or your business computer that has been infected.
Self-storage stores customers’ data in a digital format, PII or personal identifying information, if not well taken cared of can be used to steal your customer’s identity. Scam watch should be well thought of or it will create devastating fines, minimum fine for a data breach can be $10,000 per customer.Protection through Awareness. Scam watch is very easy in fact; a good start for this action is to self-study and to email notifications from the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (www.ic3.gov). This action will help you get informed, cyber criminals always has new technology to trick on you, so it is always good to get knowledgeable to emerging cyber threats that could affect your business.Some may find this unnecessary but this is as important as any fraud prevention. Remember that all software you use should also be kept current, including your operating system (Windows or Mac OS), your browser (Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, etc.), and other programs such as Adobe Reader and Adobe Flash. And disable Java in your browser’s plug-ins section as unlatched Java contains the most successfully-exploited vulnerabilities. It is very essential to have anti-virus and anti-malware protection on all of your computers and to look into guard for your mobile devices such as smart phones.
Help From Authorities. Activities highlighted are Federal crimes and should be reported as such this is according to the most cybercrime offenses are covered by Title 18 of the United States Code, Section 1030: Fraud and related activity in connection with computers. The U.S. Department of Justice website sustains its Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section with contacts for reporting incidents to local, state or Federal law enforcement agencies.As the larger banks and institutions are becoming more conscious to cyber attacks of all kinds, self-storage industry and real estate in general in now more appealing to cyber criminals. But since they are becoming a little bit more conscious too and developing ways of scam prevention, cyber criminals are not targeting small businesses that tend to have less wary employees and smaller computer staffs. And smaller staffs should step up and find ways to defend themselves against threat of cybercrime.