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Firms warned after increase in email scams

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SMALL and medium-sized businesses are being warned to be vigilant following an increase in the number of scammers targeting Jersey in recent days.

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The Jersey Office of the Information Commissioner has issued advice after seeing a ‘sharp rise’ in the number of phishing email scams reported to it.

Within 48 hours this week the office received seven reports from companies concerned that they may have unwittingly provided details to scammers following so-called phishing scams, when hackers pose as trusted entities in an effort to dupe victims into providing security details.

The emails currently being sent to Jersey companies are said to be particularly worrying as they appear to be from legitimate contacts.

Hackers can gain unlimited access to company email systems if certain details are provided.

Adrian Hayes, compliance and enforcement manager at the Jersey Office of the Information Commissioner, said: ‘It is important business owners in the Island, especially the smaller businesses, are aware that even though an email is addressed to them, it does not mean it is legitimate. We would advise anyone never to share a password.

‘Anyone needing further guidance can call our office on 716530.’

The advice issued by the Information Commissioner says: ‘If a familiar company sends you an email directing you to click a link or attachment to verify your email login details including password, stop, think and telephone the sender to verify the email. Only use contact details you have and not those listed on the phishing email.

‘Warn all of your staff about the risk of phishing emails. Report the attack to the police or forward it to scams500@police.je. Do not share your passwords under any circumstances.’

And it adds that anyone who believes that personal information has been lost, compromised or accessed without their knowledge should contact the office.

Lucy Stephenson

By Lucy Stephenson
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