Recognize

You or an employee at your business receives an email or message from someone disguised as a trusted person or company asking you to click a link, open an attachment, or share your organization’s sensitive information. If you follow the instructions, scammers can install malicious software onto your computer, gain access to your data, or spread malicious software to your entire network.

If you think your business has been impacted by a phishing scam, we recommend that you act immediately by following our guidelines below, and then proceed to our ReportRecover, and Reinforce sections for further assistance.

Some Immediate Action Steps to Take

  • Immediately disconnect the computer or device from the Internet or network.
  • Alert staff about the phishing attack.
  • Run a virus scan on all computers and devices connected to your business network.
  • Change any compromised passwords right away and enable a two-step/factor verification on all of your accounts– which requires an additional code to log in.
  • Forward phishing emails or websites to the Anti-Phishing Working Group at reportphishing@apwg.org.
  • If you think a scammer obtained sensitive information, visit IdentityTheft.gov for resources to minimize your business’s risk of identity theft.
  • If your business computers run Microsoft Windows, download and run the Microsoft Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool.

Report

Report Phishing to the Site Where the Scam Took Place

Recover

These resources have been gathered, selected and vetted to help simplify the process of recovering after a cybercrime incident has taken place. You may need to contact organizations outside Fraudsupport.org. Results will vary depending on your circumstances.

Reinforce

Once you have notified the appropriate organizations and you are on the road to recovery, it is time to reinforce your cybersecurity using these resources and tools.

Implement Preventative Measures

  • Keep the operating system and security software up to date on all devices in your organization’s network.
  • Routinely back up your business’s data in a secure location.
  • Advise your employees to never click on a link or open an email attachment from someone they don’t know and verify before clicking on an email from a trusted source that you are not expecting.
  • Establish procedures and open lines of communication to help protect your business and lessen the impact of potential cybercrime.
  • Be sure websites are secure before submitting sensitive information. Find out how to spot a fake website.
  • Create strong passwords. Learn how from ConnectSafely.org.
  • Always enable a two-step/factor verification on your email, social media and other online accounts– which requires an additional code to log in.
  • Learn how to understand and address cybersecurity risks with the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) Cyber Essentials Toolkits.

Community Resources