In this article we will look at three types of email you need to be aware of…… Spam Email, Scam Email and Phishing Emails. Below is more information on what all three types are and how you can avoid becoming a victim to them.
The vast majority of emails sent every day is unsolicited junk mail. Spam emails may feature some of the following warning signs:
- You don’t know the sender.
- Contains misspellings (for example ‘Sh0p’ with a zero) designed to fool spam checkers
- Makes an offer that seems too good to be true.
- The subject line and contents do not match.
- Contains an urgent offer end date (for example “Buy now and get 50% off”).
- Contains a request to forward an email to multiple people, and may offer money for doing so.
- Contains attachments, which could include .exe files.
Scams are generally delivered in the form of a spam email (but remember, not all spam emails contain scams). Scams are designed to trick you into disclosing information that will lead to defrauding you or stealing your identity.
Phishing usually takes place through spam emails sent to millions of addresses. These emails look like they come from a genuine companies, usually a bank or credit card company, and they ask for details of your account.The company claims you need to update or confirm your account details by clicking on a link. The link then takes you to a bogus website where your details can be used by criminals.
- Do not open emails which you suspect as being scams.
- Do not forward emails which you suspect as being scams.
- Do not open attachments from unknown sources.
- If in doubt, contact the person or organisation the email claims to have been sent by via a secure means.
- Do not readily click on links in emails from unknown sources. Instead, roll your mouse pointer over the link to reveal its true destination, displayed in the bottom left corner of your screen. Beware if this is different from what is displayed in the text of the link from the email.
- Do not respond to emails from unknown sources.
- When using email such as gmail, Hotmail and Yahoo make sure you select one that includes spam filtering and that it remains switched on.
- When sending emails to multiple recipients, list their addresses in the ‘BCC’ (blind copy) . No recipient will see the names of the others, and if their addresses fall into the wrong hands there will be less chance of you or anybody else receiving phishing or spam mail
If you think you may have compromised the safety of your bank details and/or have lost money due to fraudulent misuse of your cards, you should immediately contact your bank.
If you’ve been a victim of fraud, report it to Action Fraud.