Cybercriminals target individuals and send scam emails designed to look like they came from a legitimate bank, a government agency, or an organization for monetary gains.
Check if the email you received is a possible scam email:
- Be cautious of individuals or organizations asking for personal information.
Most companies will not ask for sensitive information from its customers.
If in doubt, verify with the company first to avoid possible issues.
- Look at the email address, not just the sender.
Check if the message is sent from a public email domain. Legitimate organizations use a single domain for email addresss. They will not send emails from an address that ends in ‘@gmail.com’. If the domain name (what comes after the @ symbol) matches the sender of the email, the message is most likely legitimate.
A message that comes from a different domain is suspicious.
- Be careful of suspicious links.
You should not click links or download files even if they come from strange sources.
Check for mismatched URLs. Hovering above the link may show a different web address.
Avoid clicking links in emails unless you are sure it is a safe link.
- Look for any grammatical errors and spelling mistakes.
Companies will often hire proofreaders and editors to ensure content they send out are free from errors.
- Do not be frightened by messages that have an alarming tone.
Doublecheck with the company if you are uncertain about the status of your accounts.
Many of these scam email requests you to act quickly or else it will be too late.
- Look out for generic greetings like "Dear Customer"
Scam emails are designed to be sent to a large amount of people, so they need to be as impersonal as possible.
Check whether the message contains a generic subject and a greeting. This is a sign of a phishing attempt.
- Take note of unusual information in the message.
Any mentions of operating systems and software that are not commonly used can often be a sign of a scam or phishing attempt.
- Watch out for unsolicited messages.
Organizations do not practice sending confirmation emails unless there have important reasons.
Most of them avoid sending unsolicited messages unless it is for company updates, newsletters, or advertising purposes.
What to do if you suspect a scam email
If it seems suspicious, it probably is. The best way to handle a scam email is to delete it immediately.