4 Main Types of Phishing Scams

Generally speaking, a phishing scam is a type of cyberattack that cybercriminals use to get users to perform some type of action. Phishing attacks continue to play a role in the digital space and remain a threat to all. Not only are they present but they’re growing and more prevalent than ever before.

It doesn’t matter who you are or what company you work for; these phishing scams propose a threat to every organization. It’s why it’s so important that you take the time to learn more about the different kinds of phishing scams and what you can do to protect against them. If you’re going to protect your corporate information properly then you need to know how to spot these scams.

CEO Fraud / Business Email Compromise

One type of phishing scam to be aware of is called CEO fraud. It occurs when a cybercriminal sends an email to a lower-level employee (usually someone who works in the accounting or finance department) and pretends to be the company’s CEO or another executive. The objective of this type of phishing scam is to get the receiver of the message to transfer funds to a fake account. Make sure the sender’s name matches the email account and notice how the email is written and look for typos.

Spear Phishing

Another type of phishing scam to know about is called spear phishing, which is a targeted form. Instead of sending a mass email, the message is sent directly to a specific individual within an organization. The email subject line will often be of interest to the person so they hopefully click it open. It’s important to know that 91% of all cyber attacks begin with a phishing email to an unexpected victim. The end goal is to steal data or install malware on the recipient’s computer to get access to the network and their accounts.


Not all phishing scams start with an email, however. For instance, a vishing attack starts with a phone call. The attacker sets up a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) server to mimic various entities to steal sensitive data and/or funds. Be on the lookout for mumbling, technical jargon, and ID spoofing in this type of phishing scam.


In addition to vishing, there’s also a phishing scam called smishing. It involves sending malicious text messages to trick a user into clicking on a bogus link or to hand over personal information. It may involve triggering the download of a malicious app, linking to data-stealing forms, or instructing a user to contact tech support. A user should ensure the company sent the message if they have doubts and research unknown phone numbers.

Taking Action against Phishing Scams

Although phishing scams are frustrating and can cause a lot of chaos and havoc within businesses, there are ways to protect against them. What’s most important is that your company provides advanced cybersecurity services to help take action against these scams. It’s also essential that you train your staff to recognize and avoid them and also report any suspicious messages or behaviors.