Our inboxes are constantly flooded with emails and most likely a few of them are phishing scams. How can you tell if the email is a scam? Below are a few tips on spotting email scams so you can send them straight to the trash folder.
1. Check if the URLs are legitimate. Hover your mouse over the from name and it will show you the email address the email is coming from. If that email doesn’t match the name it says the email is from or the companies name is spelled incorrectly, that can signal a scam email. Inside the email you can hover over any links and see the original URL and check to see if the site is secure (https://) and/or if they have suspicious web addresses.
2. Incorrect spelling/grammar. Many hackers purposefully use poor grammar and misspelled words to try and capture less savvy users so they know who to target. Many times they will mention being in a country other than the US, which can be a red flag as well.
3. Plain text with no images or logos. A poorly constructed email scam is typically very plain and doesn’t have any images, logos, color or font variations. Watch for plain text emails and if they look different than most emails you receive, it probably isn’t legitimate.
4. Request for personal information/monetary transactions. Lots of scammers will try to tell you that you need to update personal information (bank account, login, social security number etc.). Others may ask to have money transferred to them or for credit card information. It is important to never give out any personal or bank information from any email that seems suspicious. You should be aware of what your banks emails look like and make sure to visit their secure website before putting in any login credentials.
5. Urgent action required. Many hackers use a sense of urgency to try and get you to act immediately. The email may want you to add money into your account now by clicking a link or tell you a password has expired and you need to create a new one. Be mindful about urgent emails, especially regarding personal information.
Lately, we have been getting a few emails from web developers who say they are hearing impaired and need a web designer to work on a project. They ask about accepting credit cards in their emails as well. Phishing scam emails come in all varieties and are used to target you or your business with topics that seem relevant to you. It is important to keep these tips in mind when scanning emails, to make sure you don’t get caught in a scam.