Fraudsters are increasingly using scam emails to steal from unsuspecting victims. Though more and more of their tricks are continually being exposed, the fraudsters seem always to be a step ahead, and they’ll do anything to lure people into their scams. As a result, it is sometimes quite hard to differentiate a phishing email from a genuine one. But there is some things scam emails have in common.
Michael Brown, the Customer Success Manager of Semalt Digital Services, offers you to check out the following basic signs of a phishing email:
You did not initiate the action
When you receive an email indicating that you’ve won a lottery or that a recruitment agency has reviewed your resume and gave you a job, there is a problem. You never bought a lottery ticket or applied for the job. You can be sure that the email message is a scam.
The email asks for your personal information
This is the commonest method fraudsters use to steal information from individuals. A scam email will often ask for information that is not relevant to the purpose for which it is sent. For instance, a scam email with a job offer may ask for your date of birth and your bank details. It may even go further to ask for a proof of your identity, and that means sending a copy of the ID or passport. In such a case, you should stop and ask yourself: which company needs all these details before you’ve signed a job contract?
The URL contains an unusual domain name
Scammers always depend on victims not having information about abnormalities. In this case, they target individuals who don’t know how website domains are named. According to the DNS naming structure, the last part of any domain is the most informational. A domain name help.paydayloans.com is likely to be a child domain of paydayloans.com. This main domain name appears at the end of the child domain name. Scammers who mimic genuine companies will make up a domain name like paydayloans.com.scamdomain.com. Such a domain name would not have originated from paydayloans.com because paydayloans.com is on the left side of the made up domain name.
Bad grammar and inappropriate use of capital letters and punctuation marks
Most scam emails are badly written, use basic and unprofessional language, have spelling mistakes and often use capital letters and exclamation marks inappropriately. A scam email sent to a job seeker may try to use words close to a job description, but it will not make clear sense. The message will either sound completely made up or largely meaningless. Scam job offers will also not seem to care about your skills. They might give a lot of details about the role but very little information about the exact skill set required for the job.
The email asks you to send money
It doesn’t matter whether the money is for covering whichever expenses (taxes, fees, etc.). Any email that asks for money is almost certainly a scam. And remember you might not get hit using the first email. Smart scammers will try to make you develop trust in them first before asking for money. Don’t fall for the trick. Whether they ask you to send money in the first or tenth email, it is still a scam.
When something about an email doesn’t feel right, there’s a high likelihood that it’s not genuine. If the email message you receive seems suspicious in a way, it would be best to avoid taking any action directed by the mail and quickly check its authenticity.