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How Brands Stop Imposters From Ruining Their Reputation

It’s been said that “If you don’t like what’s being said, change the conversation.” While that may be a driving mantra for those competing in the ad game, in the world of brand reputation management, interfering with conversations is very problematic. Brand impersonators weaponize email, chat, and voice into lies and rhetoric to deceive unsuspecting consumers. The initial damage is carried out against individuals — phishing, smishing, and vishing for personally identifiable information in order to gain access to their accounts and identity. As heinous as the initial damage may be, it only gets worse over time as consumer faith in brands deteriorates. It can get so bad that customers won’t pick up the phone for legitimate outbound marketing or support for fear of getting burned again. Even though it’s not the brand’s fault, companies cannot tolerate it through inaction. They must stop imposters from ruining their reputation.

In this article, we cover:

No business is immune to this problem. Consider that 25 percent of branded emails are spoofed or brand impersonation attempts. In fact, 90 percent of data breaches are caused by phishing. Companies experienced a 381 percent increase in brand impersonation attacks in the months before the pandemic took off. Occurrences of brand fraud in 2021 were 15 times higher than they were in 2020.

Since 2021, consumers have reported losing more than $1 billion to scams originating on social media. Of that total, $417 million were loses in cryptocurrency and $35 million of those losses were categorized as business imposters. Imposter scams are the No. 2 most common type of fraud reported to the FTC. About one in five people lost money to imposter scams at a median of $1,000.

In Q1 2022, the most targeted industries of brand impersonation attacks were financial services (23.6 percent), SAAS/Webmail (20.5 percent), ecommerce (14.6 percent), social media (12.5 percent), and crypto (6.6 percent).

Amazon is scammers’ favorite brand to impersonate. Between July 2020 and June 2021, about one in threereports of a business impersonation were of Amazon — 96,000 people were targeted and nearly 6,000 lost a total of $27 million.

Brand imposters even spread their tentacles beyond the private sector. Nearly 96,000 reports of fraud involving government imposters has been reported so far in 2022. The most common government imposter scams pose as the Social Security Administration; Health & Human Services/Medicare; US Customers and Border Protection; the US Postal Service; and the IRS. Social Security Administration imposter scams have resulted in $46.37 million in losses. The FTC even warns consumers “do not trust caller ID.”

Saving Enterprise Identity 

It’s undeniable that brand impersonation attacks pose a massive threat; so how can an enterprise protect its identity? Be sure the brand reputation management service you choose protects its customers from the adverse impacts of unwanted robocalls, including unauthorized brand name usage over the voice channel. By detecting and eliminating imposter traffic, you should be able to protect your brand image, company reputation, and customer relationships.

YouMail Protective Services provides zero-hour identification of unwanted robocalls that protects against the fall-out of brand imposter attacks perpetrated by bad actor campaigns.

The result:

  • Reduced risk from brand impersonation vishing attacks
  • Bad press and lost customers avoided
  • Saved IT resources by outsourcing the matter to outside experts
  • Greater efficacy due to YouMail PS’s greater accuracy and millions of data points

A turn-key brand reputation service should provide a full spectrum of protection against vishing attacks. It should be designed to mitigate enterprise damages and deter recurrence of brand abuse. Solutions should offer alerts, reporting, mitigation, and support for litigation against bad actors.

Surveillance is another key trait in an effective brand reputation protection strategy. All explicit unauthorized brand name mentions and implied references to brand relationships should be monitored. Upon detection of potential trademark infringement or inappropriate brand mentions, the enterprise should be notified immediately.

Don’t forget that a brand reputation management solution should be highly automated and include human and AI-based intelligence to identify consumer perceptions. It should be able to spot trends and respond to any misperceptions on social media, chat sites, voice services, and other online media.

If you need to get up to speed quick on the nuances of brand reputation management and reduce your risk from robocalls, start by downloading this free white paper today.

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