Expert Reaction On BBB Warns of Immigrants Targetted Scammers

The cybersecurity professional reacted below on the recent warning by BBB on how the scam artists using the Diversity Visa Program to prey on immigrants seeking the United States work or study visa. Scammers are crafting the emails as they are coming from an official US immigration agency in an attempt to tempt the immigrants with urgent matters to click these fraudulent links especially taking advantage of the uncertain situations because of the pandemic.

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Erich Kron
Erich Kron , Security Awareness Advocate
InfoSec Expert
August 11, 2020 9:58 am

This is an unfortunate side effect of the enduring COVID-19 chaos mixed with the confusing and arduous processes related to U.S. immigration. By taking items or programs that people may have heard of or are mildly aware of and promising to help the individuals navigate the confusing process, the attackers make the scam look more credible and attractive to potential victims. The victims would not see anything unusual in the information being requested by the scammers, as this information makes sense in the context of immigration filings.

Like so many other scams that we see, this one also relies on the emotional element. The frustration, the hope of a better life or education, and the trepidation of trying to navigate quickly changing laws, rules, and guidelines, all contribute to making scams like this more successful. These emotions are simply the vulnerabilities that we as humans have. This is true at the individual level and within organisations who are often targeted with the same basic, but effective techniques.

This is another case where unfortunately we must ask ourselves, how low will these cyber criminals go to make a few bucks? To counter them, we need to ensure that people have resources to contact and that they are educated in spotting scams such as this. Whenever dealing with emotionally charged situations, people need to be more vigilant than normal as emotions cloud our judgment. People should take extra precautions to apply critical thinking to situations that trigger a strong emotional response.

Last edited 2 years ago by Erich Kron
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