Spot a Phishing Email Before It’s Too Late
Do you have a suspicious email in your inbox? It might be a scam! Today, we present a few simple questions that will test an email’s validity.
Everybody, at one time or another, has received a suspicious email in their inbox.
At first glance, the email looks legitimate. It contains a familiar logo and a link to a professional-looking Website.
The message inside the email feels serious and needs to be addressed ASAP. All you have to do is answer a couple questions about yourself, and the issue will be resolved.
Don’t do it! This is called phishing, a method used by criminals to trick unsuspecting victims into turning over private information like passwords and account numbers by posing as a trusted source.
The next time you receive an email asking you for personal information, ask YOURSELF a few simple questions.
Are you a customer of the reported sender?
The first question you should ask yourself is, am I a customer of this “business”? If you have never heard of the business or are not a customer, do not respond.
A scammer will often send out thousands of identical emails impersonating a trustworthy business. Their hope is that a percentage of people who receive the email will be actual customers of the business they’re impersonating.
Is the email time-sensitive?
A phishing email will often give the impression of urgency. For example: “If you don’t respond within two days, your account will be closed.” If you’re a customer of the supposed business and there’s something seriously wrong with your account, they’re not going to send you an email about it.
Is the email address unidentifiable?
A legitimate business will use an email address that can be traced. On the other hand, a phishing email will often come from an unidentifiable email address.
If you can’t trace the source, do not respond.
Are there spelling and/or mechanical errors?
Check the email for spelling and mechanical errors in the writing. Big name businesses like eBay and Bank of American will pay someone to proofread an email before sending it out.
If the language in the email feels unnatural or if you notice any spelling mistakes, report the email.
Is the email formatted incorrectly?
Look closely at the layout of the email. Does the formatting look unprofessional? Are there spaces missing between paragraphs? Incorrect copyright symbols?
A legitimate business will not make these mistakes. If the email looks unprofessional, report it!
Safeguard Your Personal Information
Ultimately, no legitimate business will ever ask for sensitive information in an email. It just doesn’t happen.
If you receive lots of suspicious emails in your inbox, you may want to consider upgrading to a more effective spam filter. AMRCON offers a unique Spam Guard that will quarantine phishing, spyware, viruses and malware before they cause problems. Learn more about this indispensable tool.