5 Tips To Avoid Email Scammers
30 April, 2019 | Technology
Fraudulent and dangerous emails have become a daily occurrence and unless you are vigilant it can be quite easy to fall for them. Scammers are becoming cleverer (in some cases) making it a little trickier to spot the scam.
What is email fraud?
Email fraudsters/spammers aim to trick you into giving up your personal data through many different methods. They do this with emails designed to look like the genuine article from online services such as banks or online retailers.
These emails tend to appear to have been sent by someone or some business that you know. The email will usually contain links to sites where you will be required to enter some vital information such as usernames, passwords and even bank details.
How to protect yourself?
Unfortunately, it isn’t possible to eliminate the threat completely but there are a number of precautions you can take:
1) Obviously suspicious emails
Firstly, if you think an email might be fraudulent, delete it. Don’t open the email, don’t reply and definitely don’t click on any of the links or attachments.
2) Not personalised
Many non-personalised emails starting with just “Dear Sir/Madam” are commonly phishing emails because spammers send them to millions of people. Authentic messages such as from a bank will most likely be addressed to you.
3) Don’t use links within emails
Never use a link within a suspicious email. Links within emails can be manipulated to look like something they aren’t and can easily lead to a phishing website that looks very real and authentic.
It’s always safer to go to a website such as your bank or social account through the web browse or by typing their domain name in like you usually would to access the site.
4) Time sensitive
Spam emails tend to have a sense of urgency. Beware of time pressure as reputable businesses don’t take urgent actions to prevent your account being shut down.
Most phishing methods will try to panic users into quickly handing over personal data, so take your time before doing anything.
5) If in doubt, Google the emails subject line
You can view the emails subject line without even opening the email, and as these emails are usually very well documented due to the fact, they have been sent to millions of other people too, they are very likely to be documented online.
These 5 tips will help you deal with dodgy emails; however, you can try to avoid getting them altogether by configuring your software correctly.
Most email providers have settings you can adjust to maximise security. Also install security software and keep all your systems up-to-date!
There is no full proof way to shield yourself against phishing attacks so always bear those 5 points in mind when you come into contact with suspicious emails!