Setting a record for both highest count and share in volume with other types of phishing scams, response-based attacks are at their highest since 2020 and are continuing to grow.

Despite a lot of focus on credential theft, cybercriminals are trending toward response-based scams – where the scam relies on the user responding through a communication channel chosen by the scammer. We’ve seen examples of these types of phishing attacks that have leveraged chatbotsWhatsApp, and even phone calls to establish credibility and take control of the conversation.

New data from Agari and Phish Labs, in their Quarterly Threat Trends & Intelligence report for August 2022 shows that response-based scams are on the rise, being responsible for 41% of threats targeting corporate inboxes. While still trailing behind credential theft attacks, response-based scams have experienced continual growth over the last two years.

According to the report, the response-based scams can be broken down into the following types:

  • Advance-Fee scams – 54%
  • Vishing – 25%
  • Business Email Compromise – 16%
  • Job Scams – 4.8%
  • Tech Support – 0.2%

Of these, vishing is up over 625% from Q1 of last year and has steadily increased over the course of the past year.

I think I should reemphasize that these scams are all focused on business users and, according to the report, may include malware such as EmotetQBotSnakeKeyLogger – all payloads I’ve covered before here on our blog.

The growth in response-based scams means that threat actors are seeing continual success – which, in turn, means users are responding. To stop your users from responding, it’s important that you enroll them in continual security awareness training to teach them to spot these scams before they respond to them.