You likely have been targeted by scam emails and phishing schemes in the past. In a phishing scam, a hacker impersonates a legitimate company or organization in an effort to steal sensitive personal information. This article shares seven ways that you can recognize a scammer’s email. Use these tips to help you stay safe from phishing schemes.
According to Dataprot.net, “Nearly 85% of all emails are spam. Americans admitted to losing more than $70,000 to Nigerian prince scams in 2019. In 2020, as many as 85% of organizations have been targeted by phishing scams.”
1. Grammatically Incorrect
Many times, the first red flag identifying a scammer’s email is that the content is filled with grammatical errors. If you receive an email like this from someone you don’t know, never click on any links. Your email provider will likely have an option for you to report this email as spam or a phishing scheme.
2. Suspicious Email Address
When you receive an email from an unknown address, check the email domain. For example, if the email is from PayPal, but has a public email domain like [email protected].com, that’s a red flag. Most companies will use their own name in the email domain. Be vigilant in checking the email domains whenever you receive an email from someone you don’t know.
3. Unusual Message
If someone sends you an email with a ‘too good to be true’ offer, it’s likely a scam. Don’t click any links. Report this phishing email as spam. It’s important to be diligent in properly vetting emails you receive so you don’t get fooled by hackers using phishing schemes against you.
4. Links and Attachments
In addition to never clicking links in suspicious emails, refrain from opening attachments. You don’t want to fall for a phishing scheme where hackers can get your important information and malware can infect your device. For example, if you get a suspicious email from your cable provider asking you to reset your password, don’t do it. Report this email as spam. Visit your provider’s website through a trusted link and create a new password. Clicking the link in the email and entering your account username and password gives the hacker access to your account.
5. Immediate Action
Don’t fall for phishing schemes that use intimidating language to force you to act by clicking a link or opening an attachment. Those tactics are used to rattle you so that you won’t fully investigate the email. When hackers use such forceful techniques, they hope you’ll react fearfully and follow through with their scam request without thinking clearly.
6. Inconsistent Content
If you notice inconsistencies in the email content, proceed cautiously. Look at the subject line. Check to see if the subject line topic aligns with the content of the email. You may receive an email from someone in response to an email that you never emailed. Carefully review the content of the email and don’t click any links or open any attachments. Hover the cursor over the link to identify whether the link address shown matches the actual link showing up at the bottom of the screen. Inconsistencies in the link address signal another red flag. If you receive an email with a link but no content, that’s also likely a scam.
7. Instinctive Feeling
In some instances, you have an instinctive feeling that something is wrong. Listen to your instinct. Don’t click any links or open any attachments. Report that email as spam or a possible phishing scheme.
Stay Safe from Phishing Schemes
Don’t allow yourself to fall prey to phishing schemes. Use these 7 factors to help you determine whether or not you received a scammer’s email. Some red flags include grammatically incorrect content, a suspicious email address, and an unusual message. Never click any links and don’t open attachments in suspicious emails. Be wary of emails that use urgent tactics to get you to click links or open attachments. Watch out for inconsistent content in emails. Be diligent in investigating emails to effectively recognize scammer’s emails.