Have you ever received a fear based phishing email that makes you take a step back? What even is fear based phishing? We can define fear based phishing as any phishing email that creates a sense of fear, panic, or extreme unease because of the message in the email. A lot of times these emails are attempting to extort you or your small business by suggesting they will expose your secrets or private information. Some may go even further as you will see in the below example.

Fear Based Email
Fear Based Email

The extortion attempt

As you can see in this email, the cybercriminal is trying to play on a fear of death to extort you for money. This type of fear based phishing attempt to extort seems to be becoming more common. This is definitely an extreme example of this, but small businesses should expect to see similar emails extorting their businesses.

Small businesses should expect to see phishing emails claiming to have stolen your business data while threatening to publicly disclose it if you do not pay the extortion. Or maybe they will claim to have usernames and passwords and provide previously disclosed passwords from much older breaches.

Here is a useful resource for online safety and here is one from Stay Safe Online that offers great advice and who to turn to if you do fall victim.

For more on phishing and other cyber scams, check out Small Business, Big Threat to learn how to better protect yourself and your small business.