3 Ways to Identify a Bug Report Scam

Nov 30, 2022 | Security, Tips

When all the Halloween candy has been consumed and the horror movies watched for another year, there are still things that wake us up in a cold sweat. Internet scamming is big business with alarming amounts of money and data loss every day, leaving unsuspecting business owners wondering what just happened.

There’s a variety of ways these unscrupulous folk can infiltrate our lives, and they’re getting better at it. Tech scammers are always coming up with new ways to trick people. Increasingly prevalent are bug report scammers stepping up to the plate to try their luck.

The most opportunistic bug report scam will have you second-guessing yourself enough to click on seemingly important alerts and before you can say “pass me the anti-virus”, they’ve got you.

So, what can you do?

Learning how to identify the fakers helps prepare for attacks and prevents businesses from being led astray.

The Sky is Falling

What exactly is a bug report scam?

In a nutshell, a bug report scam is an alarming and distressing message informing you that you have an issue that needs immediate attention. The Chicken Little approach.

Usually, their next step will be to persuade you to hire “their services” to help eliminate the problem, for a price, of course.

As a business owner, your next step will be to try and identify the scam.

A bug report scam tends to appear in one of three forms.

  • Email Me

If you happen to be in receipt of a bug report message informing you of an apparent emergency, right-click on the email address to see where it’s coming from. Generally, most scammers use generic Gmail accounts, strange-looking addresses, or the sender’s name and email do not match.

They give themselves away.

  • Phone Call Bug Report

Bug report scammers will sometimes phone business owners advising they have a technical issue which, if left could jeopardize their system. It’s important to realize that most security software companies will never call you like this. They most certainly will not ask you for a monetary fee to solve an issue.

  • The Unwashed Masses

Mass emails are easier to spot than you may think.

Being told of generic “risks” and bugs that have nothing to do with your line of business will generally be a tell-tale sign of a scam.

If they list risks or vulnerabilities that are not relevant or specific to your business activities, this will indicate a mass email.

Their cunning plan?

The hopes of getting a response from a few, while bug reports scamming many.

  • The Bug Report Scam Cometh

Fear is a great motivator. It has many disguises and when used in scamming uses all of them to blindside the unsuspecting target.

The urgency of the messaging is what gets people’s heart racing initially. It is that original fear which has people reacting before they can take a breath and look at the situation clearly.

  •  “We have detected a vulnerability that requires your immediate attention.” or  “You do not have (a particular software) installed protecting your website and are now at risk.” Click here immediately to fix it.

The use of jargon or tech terms commonly not understood are also a way in which to get a reaction. These types of messages are ways in which people are frightened into giving access to their system or even paying monies to rectify an issue that is bogus.

When in doubt, seek assistance.

What Should You do if You Suspect a Bug Report Scam?

While fear in the wrong hands can be used to coerce and manipulate, it can also be our friend in business.

If you find yourself in a situation or just want to be a little savvier, look to follow some basic guidelines.

  • Never reply to a message like this. Put it in SPAM and do one or both of the following.
  • Use a Free malware scanner to check for any vulnerabilities. Sucuri is one if you are looking for a quick solution.
  • Ask your web host to check for you. HostHuski will do this for free. Any good web hosting company should do the same.

Think you’re jumping at shadows? There’s no such thing when it comes to your web security. The need to be vigilant remains a constant and this is where partnering with an excellent web-hosting company is an advantage.

When taken seriously you are arming yourself with the skills, understanding, and confidence to ignore it or deal with it as required.

If you need help avoiding potential threats to your website you’ve come to the right place.

We can offer the best in web hosting with plans and security assistance to keep your business safe. Contact us today and see how.

Want to learn even more?

Come see additional articles written to help your business on our blog. We talk about how to improve your website, get more customers, and more.