How to identify if an email is from Mr/Ms Dodgy…
I know that many of you are in the same online boat as I am.
My Outlook Junk Email box is the no.1 destination for daily emails for many creative messages from individuals that I have never heard of, as well as others pretending to be organisations that I have business relationships with.
This raises the important question: How do we identify which emails are legitimate and which are illegitimate (scams)?
This is not difficult.
There are key “red flags” that these messages have in common, and make them easy to spot.
Tell-tale Scam Red Flags
A common form of online scams is Phishing, in which a scammer attempts to find out your username and password for sensitive sites such as email providers and online banking, to enable them to gain access to these. To do this, they build authentic-looking emails with fraudulent links which take the unwitting victim to pages which ask them to provide this information.
Clicking on these links may also enable the scammer to download malware onto your computer or iPhone. This is a type of software which has the ability to gain entry to the device, and steal healthcare records, see personal emails and access online banking.
An example is below:
The interesting fact is that I did not make an order for Norton Lifelock.
The features of this email that yelled very loudly that it was a scam are:
- It had a suspicious-looking sender’s email address — many similar scam emails I receive actually come from a dodgy GMail address! Norton and other companies do not use GMail — their emails come from their organisation’s official email, such as ….@ABC.com
- It had a suspicious-looking URL, which was unusually long for an organisation such as Norton. A good way to check if a link in the email is dodgy, hover your mouse over it (don’t click it). If the hyperlinked address does not match the linked address in the email, it is a red flag…