Cordell & Company Insurance Agency Blog
There are new criminals in town, and they may be as close as your laptop or smartphone. These digital fraudsters are experts in what’s known as phishing—a practice by which internet fraudsters impersonate businesses to try to trick victims into sharing sensitive personal information. This includes login and password details, bank account information, or even social security numbers. The cyber-crooks then use these details to perpetrate crimes such as identity theft and fraud.
Read more: What You Need to Know About Identity Theft and Fraud
Phishing scams are a fast-growing form of cybercrime. According to the Anti-Phishing Working Group, Inc., 2022 was a record year for phishing attacks with more than 4.7 million incidents reported. And phishing also tops the IRS “Dirty Dozen” list of tax scams, impacting everyone from payroll and tax professionals to unsuspecting taxpayers themselves.
Older individuals are especially at risk for phishing scams. The Stanford Center on Longevity reports that those over age 65 are 34% more likely to fall victim to a “phishing expedition” than those in their 40s.
How many types of phishing scams are there and how can you protect yourself against them? Here’s what you need to know.
Email Phishing ScamsAlthough all phishing methods involve tricking unsuspecting victims into revealing their sensitive personal and/or financial information, there are two broad email phishing methods:
The Federal Trade Commission recommends taking the following steps to report phishing:
Step 1: If you got a phishing email, forward it to the Anti-Phishing Working Group at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you got a phishing text message, forward it to SPAM (7726).
Step 2: Report the phishing attack to the FTC at ReportFraud.ftc.gov.
Phishing Goes Beyond EmailPhishing has evolved far beyond email. Watch out for these scams.
VishingThe term vishing combines the words “voice” and “phishing” to describe phone calls meant to trick unsuspecting victims into revealing their personal information. And vishers are clever, sometimes using information from social media profiles to make it sound as though the call is legitimately coming from a bank, a credit card company or even from the IRS.
Characteristics of a vishing call may include:
The IRS does not call taxpayers to demand payment, nor does it ask for your debit or credit card information over the phone. If you suspect that a scammer is posing as a representative of the IRS, hang up immediately and contact the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) at (800) 366-4484 to report it. Alternatively, use the IRS Impersonation Scam Reporting site.
SmishingSmishers contact victims via SMS (text) messages in an attempt to gain access to personal information. Hallmarks of smishing include:
Social Media PhishingIf you’re on Facebook or other social media networks, you may receive a duplicate friend request from someone you’re already friends with on the platform. Chances are a social media phisher is casting a line. Watch for these signs of social media phishing:
PharmingThe word pharming combines phishing with farming and it’s yet another form of cybercrime. When pharming, fraudsters secretly install malicious code on a computer or server to direct traffic away from a real website to a fake website. The fake website can send malware to visitors’ own computers or collect personal information. Criminals can use your information for a variety of fraudulent and illegal activities, such as:
Read more: How to Cyberproof Your Smartphone
As a computer and smartphone user, the best way to protect yourself from phishing scams is to become familiar with their many forms. Know what to watch for and never open attachments, click on links or respond to unsolicited communications if anything seems even a little off. When it comes to phishing, it’s better to play it safe in order to protect your personal information and avoid becoming yet another fraud or identity theft victim.
Have you run into any phishing scams recently? Share your experience and any tips you have for avoiding them below.
From technology to materials to equipment, most business owners have a good idea of what they need to effectively run their business. However, not many know the types of insurance that their small business needs.
Getting a coverage is the best way to protect you, your employees, and the business. The climate is always changing and continues to produce potentially devastating effects on businesses. Liability lawsuits are fairly common now. In addition to this, accidents happen and things break every now and then.
Without a small business insurance, you may need to cover the property damage and liability claims on your own. This can cost you an arm and a leg. You may end up losing not only your own business but also your personal assets.
There are many types of insurance for small business owners to choose from. Here are the ones we think are a must-have.
1. Business Interruption: InsuranceBusiness operations are likely to get interrupted when a disaster or a catastrophic event occurs. During this time, normal business operations will be disrupted. Your staff won’t be able to manufacture products or make sales calls.
That’s where a Business Interruption Insurance policy comes in. It’ll help compensate against lost wages. It’s particularly applicable to businesses requiring physical locations. A retail store is a good example of this.
2.Vehicle Insurance: Accidents are common on our roads. A vehicle insurance will ensure that your company vehicles are fully insured to protect your business from accident liabilities.
Typically, Vehicle Insurance policy covers all road vehicles – from motorcycles to cars to trucks. An automobile insurance has a dual function – it’ll protect your vehicle against physical damage as well as personal injury emanating from the accident.
3. Product Liability Insurance: This is a must-have for businesses that manufacture products for sale on the general market. Inasmuch as your business takes every measure to ensure that its products are safe, it can still find itself named in a lawsuit resulting from the use of its products.
That’s where a Product Liability Insurance policy comes in. It’ll be tailored specifically to the type of products your business produces.
4. Home-Based Businesses: InsuranceHome-based businesses are a perpetually popular choice for many entrepreneurs. Sadly, homeowner’s policies don’t offer the same coverage as a commercial property insurance does.
That’s why you need a Home-Based Business Insurance policy. It helps protect your inventory and equipment in the event of an issue.
5.Workers’ Compensation Insurance: Worker’s compensation provides insurance to employees who are injured on the job. It covers medical and rehabilitation costs for an employee who is injured at work.
You should make a point of adding it to your small business every time you hire an employee. Without one, you could face pricey claims.
6. Property Insurance: Property Insurance policy is a must, regardless if your business owns or leases its space. It covers damage resulting from perils like fire, storm, or theft, up to the business premises.
However, earthquakes and floods aren’t usually covered under standard property insurance policies. If you live in an area prone to these issues, consider getting additional protection.
7. Professional Liability: InsuranceCommon claims that Professional Liability Insurance policy covers are misrepresentation, negligence, inaccurate advice, and violation of good faith and fair dealing.
When it comes to Professional Liability Insurance, there is no one-size-fits-all policy. Each industry faces its own set of unique perils that will need to be customized for an individual business.
8. Directors and Officers Insurance: A wide range of scenarios is covered under a Directors and Officers Insurance policy. From paying to legal representation throughout lengthy and costly official investigations to legal costs and damages where actionable mistakes have been made.
9.Business Owner’s Policy (BOP): This type of insurance packages everything a business owner would need. Usually, it includes crime insurance, liability insurance, vehicle coverage, property insurance, and business interruption insurance.
A BOP isn’t a one-size-fits-all policy. You can always customize one to fit your company’s specific needs. Normally, you’ll save money by taking this policy as it costs less than the costs if you would have taken all individual coverages.
10. General Liability Insurance: A General Liability Insurance policy is a must-have for every business, even for home-based businesses. It covers your business in the event of damage caused by day-day-operations or legal liabilities.
11. Homeowner’s Insurance: A Homeowner’s Insurance policy can help ensure that a non-business loss will not drag your business down. Typically, the policy will cover your house, including both the structure and its contents, against man-made and environmental perils.
Such perils include theft, vandalism, fire, lightning, and winds. However, a standard policy won’t offer you protection against perils like earthquakes, soil erosion, and flood damage. As such, you may want to get additional coverage.
To protect your small business, you must correctly evaluate the perils that you face and choose insurance accordingly. Insurance isn’t a place to skimp – but for budgetary reasons, the aforementioned insurance types are basic ones that you need.
The following article was provided by Granite Foundation Repair, a local foundation repair company servicing the DFC area.
Rogue Movers fall into two categories:
The problem is lack of education, again falling into two categories:
Educating yourself, the moving public and law enforcement is a start.
Welcome to our new insurance agency blog!
This is our very first post. We're not quite sure what we're going to write about here, but the plan is to create helpful content for customers and prospective clients about information that is relevant to you.
We hope you'll come to view this as a top resource for keeping your family and your finances safe.
Here are a few of the topics we may be writing about: