Scammers are everywhere. They are clever, tricky and most of them know how to convince their victims to provide personal data or transfer money directly to them.
One of the ways they can try to get more victims is via email. They will act by sending emails claiming to be a legitimate company and will trick the victims to inform personal data, download malicious files that will infect the computer, or they will convince the victims to do something they did not intend to. This kind of scam is called ‘phishing’ and it’s one of the oldest types of cyberattacks, being until now one of the most widespread scams.
How scammers act
They will send an email pretending to be from companies such as Amazon, Netflix, Royal Mail or any other. This email will claim that the victim’s account was hacked, or that there was a problem with their payment details. The victim might be redirected to a fake website (that again, will be very similar to the legitimate one) and will be asked to enter its personal details, updated payments or also to inform debit/credit card numbers.
Another approach used by the scammers is sending attachments and asking people to click on links that will automatically download malicious viruses in the computer to steal their data.
Identifying a scam
Keep your eyes open and pay attention to the details. Here are some tips to avoid being caught by a phishing scam via email.
- Usually, scammers create a sense of urgency. With that, you don’t have much time to think about your acts. So, if the email says that it’s URGENT or that you need to do something as soon as possible to do not have your account suspended, for example, this could be a scam.
- The fraudulent email is very similar to the legitimate one. However, some small things can be different. The email address could contain surplus letters and, it’s pretty common to find grammar mistakes in these emails.
- Don’t do what they are asking you to. If you think that this could be a fraud, instead of clicking on the link they’ve sent you through email, go directly to the company’s website (Amazon, Netflix, your Bank, etc) to check if the information is correct. In many cases, you will discover that there’s nothing wrong with your account or your details.
- Remember that banks will never request information via email. If you receive an email from your bank asking you to provide your information to them, it will certainly be a scam.
To summarise, remember to always think twice before clicking on anything you receive in your email. Keep paying attention to the details and only provide the necessary information for websites after confirming that they are legitimate.
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