Scammers using GDPR to ‘hide in plain sight’

Posted on 24th May 2018
Law firm Blake Morgan has issued a warning that cyber criminals are using the introduction of General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) as an opportunity to target businesses and consumers with scams.

Using the introduction of GDPR this Friday (25th May) as a hook, criminals are targeting businesses and individuals with fake emails from well-known brands designed to farm personal information or encourage users to download malicious software. This can lead to personal data – including credit card details – falling into criminal hands, or companies facing attacks from hackers or viruses.

While the introduction of GDPR has seen email traffic increase with customers being asked by service providers to update personal user agreements and privacy settings, private individuals and businesses should be on the look-out for false emails that look real but pose a security threat.

Elisabeth Bell, Legal Director at Blake Morgan said: “The introduction of GDPR this month is designed to strengthen privacy and better protect the collection and use of personal data – a good thing for businesses and consumers alike. However, the increase in email traffic asking us to follow links to update our preferences provides criminals with the perfect opportunity to hide in plain sight and target people with attempts to steal personal information or download malicious software.

“As always, we should be extremely cautious when responding to any email. We shouldn’t respond to or download files from unsolicited emails, we should never click on suspicious links and we should never supply banking information via email. No bank or financial institute will ever ask us for personal banking information. Companies should also be encouraging employees to think before opening emails or downloading links from their work emails as this can leave businesses exposed to malicious software or attempts to attack IT systems.

“GDPR is an important step forwards in the way data is managed across Europe and will have huge importance for business and consumers – so it’s important we check before we click.”

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