Cybersecurity

Cyber criminals are constantly at work trying to steal your personal information. Daily, they challenge the abilities of the protective measures put in place to shield you from their malicious attempts.

Recently customers of GRM Networks have been the targets and recipients of a slew of phishing emails, a form of cybercrime where cybercriminals pose as a trusted source and use email messages to trick unsuspecting email users into giving the cybercriminals their personal information. However, cybercrimes also include phone scams known as vishing, text messaging scams known as smishing and pharming which is when an Internet user is sent to a fraudulent website with intent to steal the user’s information.

We are Here to Help

If you suspect that you have received a suspicious communication from GRM Networks, LTC Networks or SCC Networks but are not sure, please contact us by calling your local business office or the 24/7 Technical Support Helpdesk at 800-721-2577.

  • GRM Networks Bethany Business Office: 800-551-1930
  • GRM Networks Leon Business Office: 800-551-1940
  • LTC Networks Business Office: 877-742-5553
  • GRM Networks Princeton Business Office: 800-451-2301
  • SCC Networks Business Office: 800-782-7932

Hitting Close to Home

GRM Networks’ customers have reported receiving an increase in phishing attempts. Some even included the GRM Networks logo and nondiscrimination statement in their efforts to appear to be official GRM Networks communications.

Some examples of malicious attempts customers have reported receiving include (this list is not exhaustive):

  • Requests to take some form of action because the account is going to be suspended
  • Instructions to upgrade their email account by downloading an attachment
  • An announcement that GRM Networks has merged with Yahoo to form a new company and users must accept new Terms of Service
  • Requests to click a link and update information because of “security incidents online”
  • A text message that GRM Networks has attempted to deliver a package, click the links to complete a survey and win a new Apple iPhone
  • A phone call from someone claiming to be with GRM Networks, following up on a phishing email that was sent

Tips to Help Identify Fraudulent Emails

Scammers are very good at making their phishing emails look like legitimate emails from the company, which they are targeting. However, the messages may contain identifying characteristics such as:

  • Misspelled words in the text
    • “login to upgrade yur account”
    • GRM Network
  • Fragmented sentences
    • “Download attachment and …”
  • Missing punctuation
    • “… failure to cancel termination will result in the closure of your account”
  • Non-personalized salutations and closings
    • “Dear user”
    • “Dear grm.net user,”
    • “Sincerely, the GRM Internet Team”
    • “Thank you, GRM Network”
    • “Thanks, GRM Upgrade Team”
  • Threatening language
    • “Act now or your service will be terminated immediately”
    • “Account de-activation in progress”
    • “Final reminder”
  • Tempting offers
    • “You’ve just won a free vacation!”
  • Instructions to click links
    • “Click here to claim your prize!”
    • Sign in here to cancel the termination”
  • Instructions to provide personal information
    • “Complete the attached form”
  • Requests for immediate action or services will be terminated
    • “Failure to cancel termination will result in the closure of your account”
  • Attachments for review
    • “Click here to review your current agreement”
    • “Download attachment and login to upgrade your email account automatically.”

Helpful Advice to Navigate Suspicious Emails

Cyber criminals communicate to unsuspecting recipients posing as other companies, not just GRM Networks. If you suspect you have received malicious communications from any company, follow these tips:

  • Do not open the text or email if the sender is not familiar.
  • Do not click any links in the text or email.
  • When in doubt, reach out to the sender or caller through a trusted method such as their website or phone number on record.
  • Never respond to the sender of a suspicious message.
  • Move the phishing email to your email’s ‘spam’ or ‘junk’ folder. Steps to do this will vary depending on your email provider. Directions for customers using the GRM Networks’ platform are found at grm.net/wp-content/uploads/5-Tips-Junk-Folder-and-Spam-v2.pdf.

Reporting Scams

Report suspected scams to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) by following these steps as found on the FTC website at https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/how-recognize-and-avoid-phishing-scams

  • Step 1
    • If you received a phishing email, forward it to the Anti-Phishing Working Group at reportphishing@apwg.org. If you received a phishing text message, forward it to SPAM (7726).
  • Step 2

What to Do if You Responded to or Clicked on a Link in a Phishing Email

If you responded to or clicked on a link in a phishing email and are concerned or think that scammers now have your personal information such as a credit card number, Social Security number, bank account information, password logins, etc. go to www.identitytheft.gov. This site assists identity theft victims with reporting the crime and with developing a recovery plan.

If you think your personal information is compromised, you should immediately update your computer’s security software and run security scans to determine if any malware has been downloaded onto your personal computer.

GRM Networks email customers who think your email account information may be compromised should call our tech support at 800-721-2577 or visit www.grm.net/email/  for instructions on how to change your email password.

Trusted Resources

Listed below are numerous links to trusted sites including XMisison, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), the AARP and the state of Missouri Cyber Security Team that contain helpful information:

XMission

https://xmission.com/blog/2020/01/27/lets-talk-phishing-part-1

https://xmission.com/blog/2020/01/30/lets-talk-phishing-part-2

 

Google and F-Security

www.youtube.com/watch?v=R12_y2BhKbE   Stay Safe from Phishing and Scams — Google Education

www.youtube.com/watch?v=25G4tLVH1JE  Teach Students About Internet Safety and Privacy — Google Education

www.youtube.com/watch?v=X-FTGkss_k0   Online Safety On The Go — Google Education

www.youtube.com/watch?v=hZbgnFeXlr0  Social Engineering/Cyber Security Crash Course

www.phishingquiz.withgoogle.com/

 

AARP

www.youtube.com/watch?v=WpaLmeHTp3I  What is Phishing and How do I Protect Myself — AARP Online Learning Videos

www.youtube.com/watch?v=gUHiGqiBo3g   WiFi Safety — AARP Online Learning Videos

 

FTC

www.ftc.gov/tips-advice/business-center/small-businesses/cybersecurity/quiz/phishing

www.ftc.gov/system/files/attachments/cybersecurity-small-business/cybersecuirty_sb_factsheets_all.pdf

www.consumer.ftc.gov/taxonomy/term/938

www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0272-how-keep-your-personal-information-secure

www.consumer.ftc.gov/media/video-0022-sharing-information-day-your-life

www.consumer.ftc.gov/media/video-0023-five-ways-help-protect-your-identity

www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0009-computer-security

www.consumer.ftc.gov/media/video-0056-protect-your-computer-malware

www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/how-spot-avoid-and-report-tech-support-scams

www.consumer.ftc.gov/media/video-0081-computer-security

www.consumer.ftc.gov/media/video-0080-public-wi-fi-networks

www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/how-recognize-and-avoid-phishing-scams

www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0011-malware

www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0038-spam

www.consumer.ftc.gov/features/feature-0038-onguardonline

www.consumer.ftc.gov/media

www.consumer.ftc.gov/blog/privacy%2C-identity-%26-online-security

www.consumer.ftc.gov/topics/online-security

 

FBI

www.fbi.gov/scams-and-safety/on-the-internet

 

FDIC

www.fdic.gov/consumers/assistance/protection/cybersecurity3_10_16.pdf

www.fdic.gov/consumers/consumer/news/cnwin16/checklist.html

www.fdic.gov/consumers/consumer/news/cnwin16/phishing.html

www.fdic.gov/consumers/consumer/news/cnwin16/

 

Missouri Cyber Security

www.cybersecurity.mo.gov/resources/

www.cybersecurity.mo.gov/home/

www.cybersecurity.mo.gov/work/

www.cybersecurity.mo.gov/tools/

Glossary of Terms

Malware — software designed to damage a computer or device and downloaded without the owner’s knowledge or permission.

Pharming — when a hacker or “pharmer” manipulates the website’s traffic and sends an Internet user to a fraudulent website to gain access to the user’s personal information.

Phishing — cybercriminals pose as a trusted source and use email messages to trick unsuspecting email users into giving the cybercriminals their personal information, user names, passwords and credit card details.

Smishing – the use of text messaging by cybercriminals to pose as a trusted source and trick users into giving the cybercriminal their personal information.

Spoofing – a fraudulent attempt by a criminal to make a phone call or email appear to come from a number or mailbox that is not the originating phone number of mailbox. Criminals can make an email message appear to come from any email address they choose and can also make a phone call appear to come from any phone number they wish.

Vishing – cybercriminals pose as a trusted source and use phone scams by way of a phone call or phone message to trick the message recipient into giving the cybercriminal their user names, passwords, credit card information and other personal information.