It’s just another day in the office and you’re checking emails. You’ve just received a mail from PayPal informing you that there is an issue with your account. What do you do? Based on signs such as an official logo or certain authoritative language, you may assume that the scam is a real email. In that case, you would have fallen for a phishing email.
What is a Phishing Email?
Phishing emails are tailored to look like real messages from legit banks, organizations and businesses. In actuality, the criminal has created the message making an attempt to steal money, identity and sensitive data. Clicking on these links will take you to websites that look authentic, but are a sham. These sites just want to capture credit card data or distribute malware or ransomware. Read the Big Scammers articles further to know 7 sure signs of online fraud, alerting you to report scam emails.
Sign #1: Emails With Improper Spelling or Grammar
This is one of the surest signs that emails are not legit. Sometimes the mistakes to spot are easy. When you do detect a scam, make sure to report scam emails. Make sure you check the email in closer detail. A subject line which uses a common word that is misspelt is a potential red flag that you need to report scam emails. Editors review marketing emails of bona fide organizations, so make sure to check the email for improper grammar or misspellings.
Sign#2: Hyperlinked URL differs from Display URL
The hypertext link in a phishing email may even say the name of a legitimate bank or organization. But when you move your mouse over the URL and not lick it, a small pop up window appears showing the real URL or uniform resource locator is far different from the display name. Check the address in the from field to check if the website domain matches the organization the email has been dispatched from. If there are mismatches, take immediate action and report scam emails.
Sign #3 Email Urges Immediate Action
Phishing emails may try to trick you by using clickbait such as messages saying your account has been put on hold or fraudulent activity requires immediate action. The possibility of receiving a legit message is rare. Just to be safe, don’t click on the email link provided. Instead, check the account in question using the official website, and if you see something fishy, go ahead and report scam emails.
Sign#4 Emails That Request Personal Data
This is another potential warning signal, as organizations never ask for personal details in an email. If there is a checking account, the bank’s actual account number will be known by the institution in question. The minute you get an email pressing for personal details, it’s time to report scam emails.
Sign#5 Emails Promising Rewards for Contests Never Entered
Another common phishing scam is to send an email saying one has won a lottery or some other prize. The email then requests you to click the link and enter personal data. If you don’t remember entering such a contest, you must report scam emails such as these to the authorities at once.
Sign#6 Emails Asking for Donations
Scam artists or con men may even send phishing emails to invite people to donate to worthy causes, natural disasters or tragedies. Potential victims may even get emails asking for donations and using their credit card information to steal from them instead.
Sign#7 Emails With Fishy Attachments
The attachments serve as bait for the unsuspecting. Remember that it is highly unlikely for organizations to send emails with attachment till the document was requested. So, if you come across a suspicious email, report scam emails to the police at once.
Falling Hook, Line and Sinker? What to Do When You’ve Been Phished!
Along with spotting an email as fishy, you can also report the same to online fraud reporting agencies too. Adjust email settings as well, for what is allowed in your inbox. Depending on the email platform you use, you will have the option of sending the data to junk. Any email from the scammer will therefore end up in the junk box. Another important thing is to get security software to protect yourself. At the end of the day, it is your choice if you want to be a silent sufferer or report scam emails and expose the fraudster.