How to avoid clone phishing[2024]

1. Clone phishing is a type of cyberattack that replicates notification emails from trusted organizations to scam users into sharing sensitive information like usernames and passwords. Clone phishing emails look almost the same as the original ones, but they contain malicious links or attachments that can install malware or steal data. Clone phishing is different from regular phishing, which uses fake or spoofed emails that are easier to spot.

2. Clone phishing is a serious threat, as it can bypass email filters and security awareness training. Users may not notice any difference between the cloned email and the legitimate one, and may trust the sender or the content. Clone phishing can lead to identity theft, fraud, ransomware, and other harmful consequences. According to the FBI, there were over 300,000 phishing victims in the U.S. in 2022, with a total loss of more than $52 million[^1^].

3. How can you protect yourself from clone phishing? Here are some tips:

•  Be suspicious of any unsolicited or unexpected communication that asks you to take action or provide information. Don’t click on links, open attachments, or call numbers that you don’t recognize or trust.


•  Check the sender’s email address, the message’s spelling and grammar, and the tone and urgency of the request. Clone phishing messages often have typos, errors, or inconsistencies that can reveal their true nature.


•  Verify the authenticity of the communication by contacting the sender or the organization directly using a different source, such as their official website, phone number, or social media account.


•  Use strong passwords, multi-factor authentication, and antivirus software to secure your devices and accounts. Don’t reuse the same password for different sites or services, and change your passwords regularly.


•  Educate yourself and others about the latest clone phishing trends and techniques. You can find useful resources and examples from the Federal Trade Commission[^2^], the Anti-Phishing Working Group[^3^], and other reputable organizations.


4. Clone phishing is a sophisticated technique that scammers use to steal your information. But you can avoid it by being vigilant, cautious, and informed. Remember, if something seems too good to be true, it probably is. And if you think you’ve been phished, report it to the appropriate authorities as soon as possible.

5. One example of a clone phishing case in the United States is the one that targeted the National Trade Association in 2018. A New York man pleaded guilty to defrauding the association out of more than $1.1 million in an email phishing scam. He opened three bank accounts using a fake company and sent fraudulent invoices to the association, pretending to be one of its vendors[^4^]. He used clone phishing to replicate the legitimate invoices and emails, and tricked the association into paying him instead of the real vendor.

One response to “How to avoid clone phishing[2024]”

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