There’s a new type of phishing email out there...
Thousands of people have already received an email asking them to settle a debt that doesn’t exist. Unlike other phishing emails out there this one contains the recipient’s home address and seems to lack the usual hallmark of being badly spelled and having poor grammar.
Image Credit BBC
Always check over an email carefully if it’s asking you for money, espeically if it’s from someone you don’t know, and NEVER click any links unless you completely trust them.
Here’s a few handy tips for staying safe when it comes to scam emails:
1: The message contains a mismatched URL
Our Tech team recommend checking the integrity of any embedded URLs. Often the URL in a phishing message will appear to be quite right. To check this, if you hover your mouse over the top of the URL, you should see the actual hyperlinked address (at least in Outlook). If the hyperlinked address is different from the address that is displayed, the message is probably dodgy.
2: URLs contain a misleading domain name
People who launch phishing scams often depend on their victims not knowing how the DNS naming structure for domains works: – The last part of a domain name is the most telling. So check the domain name! For example info.brienposey.com would be a child domain of brienposey.com because brienposey.com appears at the end of the full domain name (on the right-hand side). Conversely, brienposey.com.maliciousdomain.com would clearly not have originated from brienposey.com because the reference to brienposey.com is on the left side of the domain name.
3: The message contains poor spelling and grammar
Whenever a large company sends out a message on behalf of the company as a whole, they usually ensure the spelling, grammar, and legality, among other things is correct… so if a message is filled with poor grammar or spelling mistakes, it probably didn’t come from a major corporation’s legal department.
4: The message asks for personal information
No matter how official an email message might look, it’s always a bad sign if the message asks for personal information. Your bank doesn’t need you to send it your account number. It already knows what that is. Similarly, a reputable company should never send an email asking for your password, credit card number, or the answer to a security question.
5: The offer seems too good to be true
There is an old saying that if something seems too good to be true, it probably is. That holds especially true for email messages. If you receive a mail making big promises, the message is probably a scam. Sorry 🙁
6: You didn’t initiate the action
We all love to WIN but if you get a message saying you WON something but you never even entered then it’s almost certainly a scam!
7: You’re asked to send money to cover expenses
One telltale sign of a phishing email is that you will eventually be asked for money. You might not get hit up for cash in the initial message. But sooner or later, phishing artists will likely ask for money to cover expenses, taxes, fees, or something similar. If that happens, you can bet that it’s a scam.
8: The message makes unrealistic threats
Although most of the phishing scams try to trick people into giving up cash or sensitive information by promising instant riches, some phishing artists use intimidation to scare victims into giving up information. If a message makes unrealistic threats, it’s probably a scam.
9: The message appears to be from a government agency
Phishing artists who want to use intimidation don’t always pose as a bank. Sometimes they’ll send messages claiming to have come from a law enforcement agency, the IRS, the FBI, or just about any other entity that might scare the average law-abiding citizen.
10: Something just doesn’t look right
If something looks off, there’s probably a good reason why. If you receive a message that seems suspicious, it’s usually in your best interest to avoid acting on it.
As always, if you need help and advice we’re only a call or email away firstname.lastname@example.org