Here Are 4 Phishing Scams That Are Sabotaging Dental Marketing

According to Cybercrime Magazine…Click to open link in a new tab…, a staggering 60 percent of small businesses are forced to shut down within just six months after being hit by a data breach or a cyber attack. 

In today’s digital age, where nearly everything we do is online, this opens up a playground for scammers and phishers to try to take advantage.

Giving them more opportunities to hijack your information and disrupt your mission of providing top-notch dental services to those in your community.

Now, although we’re a dental marketing agency, we’re not cybersecurity experts. 

We have seen firsthand how phishing scams have absolutely blindsided our clients. 

It’s cost them hundreds of thousands of dollars and countless hours to try to rectify or to fix it. 

And that’s exactly why I’ve created this video.

My goal is to make you aware of four phishing scams that we’ve seen on the rise. 

 want to show you the red flags indicating that you might be in the crosshairs of these cybercriminals. 

And most importantly, I want to guide you on what steps you can take to shield yourself, to protect your practice from becoming their next victim.

Trust me, you do not want to skip this. 

So stay with me and ensure that your dental marketing efforts remain secure. 

Hey, this is Kelsey from Roadside Dental Marketing. I’m their Strategic Growth Officer and I also serve as their HIPAA security officer within the organization.

 I’ve personally seen clients who have fallen victim to these scams, and it’s cost them a lot of money and time.

So what we’re going to do today is we’re going to look at four different phishing scams that you want to keep your eyes out for. 

Phishing scam #1: Getting an urgent message via Facebook Messenger

The first one is the Facebook Messenger scam. 

You ever received a message that says your account or your page is about to be shut down? 

The first contact will usually come via a message in your inbox from an unknown sender.

Now this message is going to claim that violations have been reported on your account by other users. 

Typically we’ll say that your account, your page, or your group has been reported up to seven times, resulting in a temporary suspension. 

Well, this tactic actually mirrors Facebook’s official account restriction policy for multiple violations.

The message will urge you to confirm your account. Do so fast. And they’ll attach a link to avoid permanent suspension. 

But if you click on the confirm account link, it will open in what appears to be a Facebook login page, but the URL clearly shows that it is not 

These scam messages often come from random accounts that you don’t even recognize, and that you have no connections with.

For example, the sender may be named something generic, like Support Agent. 

Or they could include a series of random numbers in the profile name. 

Phrases like…

  • Log in now to avoid suspension. 
  • You have 24 hours to verify your account.

These are aimed to pressure you into clicking without thinking first. 

Facebook would never message you in this forceful, intimidating manner.

A huge red flag is any message asking you to provide your Facebook login details or password.

Facebook would never send you to an external website and then ask you to enter this sensitive information. 

Phishing scam #2: Suspicious email links

These could be anything from a fake invoice to an email stating that you have to upgrade your email account.

And recently a very popular method that was used in the healthcare industry is the Google Docs scam

And this is especially important because the sender can often appear to be someone you know. 

One red flag to look for is that these messages would feature broken English or languages different from your local language. That often indicates that it’s a scam.

If you receive an email from someone that you don’t know, or if it’s an unexpected email from a known contact, exercise caution before clicking on those links. 

These emails often use generic greetings like, “Dear User” instead of addressing you by name. 

And this is a sign that the email may not be legitimate.

So before you enter your Google account credentials, double-check the URL in the address bar. 

If it does not start with HTTPS, or if it contains unusual characters or misspellings, then it’s likely a phishing website. 

Phishing scam #3: Domain renewal scam

Our third scam is the domain name renewal scam. 

Now, if you have a website, chances are you’ve received a letter that says, from the domain registry or something similar like IDNS or Domain Registry of America.

Now, it’s made to look like a domain expiration notice. 

The letter tells you that your domain registration, the URL of your website, will expire in the next few months and offers you the best savings if you renew right now. 

Well, this letter is a solicitation to encourage you to switch your domain registration from your current provider to domain registry or whatever name they’re using at the time. 

And the thing is, there’s nothing illegal about it. 

You’re free to choose whatever domain registrar that you want, and you can switch at any time with a couple of limitations. 

If you keep reading through that letter, you’ll notice the letter also says, usually in bold print, that this is not a bill.

Now this is probably a feeble attempt to protect themselves from getting sued. 

They’re not your domain registrar. 

So they have no authority to bill you for that domain name renewal unless you transfer your domain to them. 

If you look at the price on this is not a bill, you’re also going to see that it’s much higher than what you’d normally pay for a domain renewal. 

Phishing scam #4: Fake job listings

Our fourth scam is something that’s affecting dental practices everywhere and that’s fake job listings. 

And these come in different forms. Different job sites have measures to try to verify legitimate employers.

But scammers sometimes manage to get their listings posted anyways. And these fake listings often also appear on social media profiles and they’re created expressively to deceive job seekers.

They normally ask candidates to pay a fee to complete their application or to get started in their role. 

So if you discover that your business has been fraudulently represented in a job scam, try to collect as much information as you can about how the job seeker was contacted, by whom, and then to prevent the scam from escalating its potential damage.

Report your findings as soon as possible to relevant agencies like the Better Business Bureau…Click to open link in a new tab…, even the FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center…Click to open link in a new tab…, or the Federal Trade Commission…Click to open link in a new tab…. 

If you have a careers page on your company website, consider adding instructions on exactly:

  • How you communicate with job seekers
  • What they should expect
  • Communication methods that your company would use to reach out to job applicants and which you would never use.
  • Clear, concise links to your job listing pages
  • Explain the information that recruiters will ask for

Give clarification of that and also mention that you’ll never request money, social security numbers, or anything like that. 

Show them there’s a means to contact your HR team if a person suggests that they may have fallen for a job scam using your business name or your identity. 

And if you become aware of job seeker scams misusing your company’s information, utilize social media channels to shine light on the event and inform your readers that you take these incidences seriously. 

How can you protect yourself? 

Well, here’s some meaningful steps that you can use to safeguard your practice.

These include…

  • Using secure passwords
  • Enabling two factor authentication, 
  • Educating your team about cybersecurity 

Human error is the cause of the vast majority of data breaches. 

Verizon found that 82 percent of breaches involved a human element. 

So use HIPAA compliant communication tools and collaboration technology so that you can mitigate cyber threats and protect your EPHI. 

Keep all your software updated.

And above all, stay alert

Exercise caution and use your noggin. 

Remember, the importance of being vigilant against phishing scams and protecting your dental practice can mean your brand.

It can mean your reputation. 

Are there other phishing scams we might have missed? Comment below and let us know!

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