Watch out for scams as Brexit confusion intensifies

The confusion around Brexit has not cleared up despite the increased urgency and ongoing discussion about what will happen and when.

Scammers and attackers are using attention-grabbing headlines about Brexit to try to trick users into handing over personal data or downloading malware.

Brexit is clearly a pressing issue for many organisations, but we urge you to exercise caution whenever you receive communications out of the blue relating to the UK’s departure from the EU.

These might come in the form of official-looking correspondences, messages from colleagues and friends, or news stories that have been forwarded to you.


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Cyber criminals will continue to use Brexit as a topic when conducting phishing scams, such as claiming that forms or questionnaires need to be completed quickly as part of Brexit preparations.

The links or attachments contained in these emails will not be genuine. Websites will be carefully crafted facsimiles of the real thing, designed to get you to enter login or other personal information without you noticing that anything is amiss.

Meanwhile, opening an attachment will unleash malware onto your system that could cause untold damage, potentially siphoning off information from your systems or, in the case of ransomware, locking you out altogether.

The emails could even indicate that bank accounts have changed due to Brexit. Employees need to be vigilant and look for signs that the emails are not genuine.

If in doubt, contact the sender using details in your systems rather than simply replying to the email. The scammer may be using a bogus email address that’s hard to differentiate from the real one.

What to look out for

You can learn everything you need to protect yourself from scams by enrolling in our Phishing Staff Awareness E-Learning Course.

In just 45 minutes, you and your staff will receive a comprehensive overview of how phishing works, what happens when you fall victim and the types of tricks you should be looking out for.

The course content is updated quarterly to provide the latest real-world examples of phishing emails. Plus, when you sign up for the course, you’ll receive a free monthly security awareness newsletter that provides updated tips.

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