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  • Writer's pictureStan Patey

Are You Available?

Updated: Sep 2, 2020

You've likely seen this phishing attempt subject line or one of its variations:

  • Are you available for a quick task?

  • Got a minute?

  • Are you here?

  • Are you in the office?

  • Can you help me?

These emails typically appear to come from your manager or company president, are brief and project urgency. They all want to start a conversation to play out their ruse.

Scam Indicators

  1. The sender's name is accurate, but the actual email address is not a company email.

  2. Doesn't your boss have your cell?

  3. Urgency - Hurry up and respond because I'm your boss and this needs to be done ASAP.

  4. The signature block may not be the one you are used to seeing. However, the slightly more sophisticated cyber-criminals may cut and paste the spoofed sender's actual signature block.

The Con Explained The scammer wants to trick you into responding without thinking. They express that it's urgent, they need it right away, it is critical. They switch you over to texting because they are "in a meeting," which continues to show urgency.

They'll next ask you to rush out and purchase gift cards from Amazon, Apple, Visa, or whatever, then text the numbers over right away.

This type of phishing attempt seldom contains any malicious payloads, but on occasion may include a link to an online form requesting your email address and password.

Your Defense

  1. Slow down, think it through. If it seems strange to you, it probably is.

  2. Contact the purported sender with information directly from your contacts, call her cell, or walk over to her office.

  3. Don't respond to the original email, or if you get as far as texting, to that number.

  4. Contact your help desk

In the spectrum of phishing emails, this is a low-budget attack. If they send out enough, someone will bite and the cyber thieves will have earned their pay. Don't become a victim.


Slingshot Information System provides multiple layers of cyber security protections from firewalls and email filtering, to web filtering and end point detection and response services. Contact us today to schedule a free network assessment. Let Slingshot be your North Shore Technical Support resource.

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