Tips for spotting sophisticated phishing scams
We all receive dozens of emails every day. Companies get hundreds, maybe even thousands. And while some are useful and perfectly legitimate, others will be what you would call “spam.” In other words, it’s junk email that is usually trying to sell you something.
And then there are the phishing emails. These are slightly different, and while standard spam is pretty harmless (if annoying), phishing email can be very dangerous. Essentially, a phishing email is an email that tries to extract personal information from you. This can be your address, your bank details or a credit card number.
It can be passwords or PIN codes or your mother’s maiden name. It could be one of those things, and while you might think they’re easy to spot, these dangerous emails are becoming more sophisticated and catch many people off guard.
Phishing emails are bad news, but they are some signs to look out for in order to determine whether or not an email you’ve received is legitimate. You should also check them out before clicking any links or disclosing any information. Read on to find out more.
Errors in an email are the most obvious sign that something is wrong, and they can be easily verified by recipients by carefully reading the email.
Even if the email looks like it came from a real company you might use regularly, if the name is misspelled, if there are grammatical errors throughout, if there are weird spaces or odd paragraphs, it is unlikely to be is a real company. A legitimate company has certain quality controls in place and it is highly unlikely that an email will ever be sent with numerous errors.
You need to be sure that the email is really from the company it came from. The quickest way to do this is to look at the email address it was sent from. A real email from a real company would have that company’s name at the end of the email address. For example, an email from Amazon would end at @ amazon.com.
Hackers and scammers do not always have access to sophisticated devices with which they can clone an email. So, you will most likely find that the email is from a free account like Gmail or AOL. Even if the cybercriminal bothered and bought a domain, it will still not match the reality. So take a moment to check this out.
The most problematic are the links in these phishing emails. Click on one and you will be directed to a specially created website designed to steal your identity and money. For this reason, it is important to check all the links in these emails.
To do this, move your mouse pointer over the link and you can see exactly where the link will take you. Even if the link looks correct, it may point to a different location.
Attachments can be just as problematic as links. These can be Office files (e.g. Word or Excel) or PDFs. Sometimes images are attached. It doesn’t matter what the attachment is unless you’re expecting it, don’t open it.
If you weren’t expecting an email from your bank, online store, or energy company, or you haven’t done anything to justify sending the email to you, it is likely a phishing email trying to Extract your information.
Many of these emails tell you that an order you have placed could not be processed or that you have changed some details of your account. All you have to do is make sure the details are correct or something similar. If you haven’t placed an order or changed details, this email must be classified as suspicious.
In other words, if the email doesn’t match an action you took and you don’t expect to receive it, delete it.
Scammers are getting more sophisticated in the way they try to stop people from revealing their important, sensitive information, and it can be difficult to spot the phishing emails that get into your inbox.
By following the points above, you can definitely reduce the chances of fraud and you can always find companies that train your employees in better cybersecurity security.