How to recognise a phishing email scam
The Global Information Security Survey 2018-2019 has reported that scammers send out 6,4 billion fake emails every day. With the risk of phishing scams becoming increasingly more common, how can you recognise what’s a scam and what’s not?
Check the sender address
Who has the email come from? Phishing scams usually try and make the ‘from’ name look like it’s come from a legit company. Check the email address – most of the time the scammer will be using a bunch of random numbers and characters.
How have they greeted you?
Most of the time a phishing scam won’t use your personal details such as first and last names. Sometimes spam emails will address you as Mr and Mrs/Miss or just start as ‘Hello’.
Asking for personal details?
It may seem like common sense, but you should never give your personal details such as your National Insurance number, your credit card number, pin number, or credit card security code, your mother’s maiden name etc. to an email that has come out of the blue.Many companies such as your bank will text, call or send you a letter if they require these details. However, Phishing scams can also happen through texts, social media or phone calls – so if in doubt, contact the company directly.
Suspicious links and attachments
If you suspect an email might be a phishing scam, do not click on any links or download any attachments featured in the scam email as these may download a computer virus onto your computer. Many phishing emails contain links that require you to enter your password or account details. This is how hackers collect data and credentials.
Contact the real company direct
If a suspicious email turns up in your inbox and you are unsure if everything is legitimate, get in touch with the proposed company via their official website or social media to check. Most companies are aware of current scams and will be able to give you and fellow customers a heads up.