If You’ve Been Invited to a Zoom Meeting with HR, You Might Be Getting Scammed

Scammers are feeding off people's fear of losing their jobs.

There is no denying that the video-conferencing tool Zoom has become an essential part of our professional and social lives. Due to social distancing matters, most of us are now relying on Zoom to have work meetings, keep up with online classes, have virtual “outings” with our friends and so much more. So it’s not very surprising that scammers have been using Zoom to steal people’s personal information. If you’ve recently received an invitation to a Zoom meeting with your company’s human resources (HR) department, you might be getting scammed. Make sure you’re also aware of this online shopping scam that the FBI warns people about.

How does the scam work?

Unfortunately, many people have been laid off or furloughed due to the pandemic. Even if you haven’t lost your job, it’s normal that you’re worried about that happening. The feeling of general unease is exactly what the scammers are targeting.

In this scam, attackers are impersonating Zoom by crafting a fake email that acts as an automated notification for an important meeting with human resources regarding the recipient’s termination, according to Abnormal Security. The email contains a link that redirects users to a fake Zoom login page hosted on “zoom-emergency.myftp.org”.

“Your presence is crucial to this meeting and equally required to commence this Q1 performance review meeting,” the body of the email says, according to Tom’s Guide. The subject line of the email reads, “Contract Suspension/Termination Trial.”

By the way, Zoom is not the only platform scammers use—you should keep an eye out for Facebook scams, too.

What can people do to protect themselves?

“Unfortunately, it is a common practice for cybercriminals to use high-profile, global news stories in their schemes and the coronavirus outbreak has proved to be no different,” says Morten Brøgger, CEO of Wire. “Cybercriminals are leveraging the fear and vulnerability surrounding the outbreak to target individuals who are desperate to gain more information.”

The most important thing people can do to protect themselves from such scams is to be suspicious of people, apps, and entities that they do not know, According to Brøgger. With the pandemic, it is natural to want to know everything there is to know—but it is very important to stick to verified and credible sources.

“People should examine everything closely and authenticate to the best of their ability, being especially aware of domains, sender names, or subject lines that are slightly off or that they do not recognize,” Brøgger says. “If you are unsure of something, don’t take the risk and look for the information you are seeking elsewhere.” Next, check out these other common scams to be aware of.