THE TELLTALE SIGNS
OF AN EMAIL SCAM
With Christmas right around the corner, spirits are high and scammers are still out there. While everybody may be winding down to enjoy time with family and friends, scammers are working around the clock to take your hard earned money. They’re particularly active this time of year as people are less suspicious, so keep your wits about you! The easiest way for scammers to work is via fake emails.
These scam emails will use the same logo, layout and branding as big name companies such as “Apple” and “Telstra”. More often than not these emails will ask you to either confirm your personal details or pay a bill!
For example, let’s look at a suspicious email from “Telstra” which looked like a regular bill and asked to “view my bill”.
Usually there are a few tell tale signs such as spelling errors, or odd links (When you hover your mouse over a link, it will tell you the destination URL. In this scam, all the links pointed to the Telstra website, except for the Scam link), however this particular scam looked so legit that I have to admit, it took us a while to pick it – Scary!
By clicking this view my bill button, your computer will then be prompted to run certain software or you may get unexpected pop-ups!
So how do you detect a scam email? What tips should you be thinking about?
If you look at the “From:” email address, it’s trying to imitate “Telstra” but the end of the email says “printisdeadforhire.com”
That’s definitely not Telstra!
Notice the distinct lack of any names, this is often an indication that this scammer only has your email and is trying to make it generic sounding as to not call you by someone else’s name. Another tactic that they use is to call you by your email address so it would say something like “Hi email@example.com“.
Poor English and grammar!
While this example doesn’t have any sure signs of poor grammar, a lot of scams do!
When in doubt, call them.
If you receive an email from a big company and it looks legitimate, even after checking all the above tips you can always call them. Don’t use the number in the email though! Use a trusted source such as Google to find the company’s contact number. Then you can call them and verify if the email is legit or not.
As we said last week, you don’t want to use the phone number in the email as that’ll just go straight to the scammers and they’ll pretend to be the company.
It only takes a single lapse of judgement so please be mindful and aware of these signs!