Cybercriminals who carry out phishing attacks have become much more proficient. These scams may hide behind people and organizations that you know and trust. If you click on the email, you could be the next victim. Be aware of the common phishing emails so that you don’t fall victim. You should also be aware of the steps you should take to protect yourself from fraud. So read on to get the inside scoop!
- 1 The Most Common Phishing Emails
- 2 How To Avoid Email Frauds
The Most Common Phishing Emails
In this phishing type, the scammer poses as a legitimate business by using brand logos to make their emails look genuine.
The scammers then send an advertising email containing a clickable link. They embed malware behind this link. When you click the link, the malware is downloaded onto your device. This allows the scammer to gain access to your device. They can then obtain sensitive information about you, which may be useful to them.
Order confirmation scams
Millions of people worldwide are using websites such as Amazon, eBay, and Buy.com to purchase products online. Cybercriminals have devised a new way to scam people by taking advantage of this popularity of online purchasing. In this type of scam, you receive an email telling you to click on a link to verify an order you made for a product. Clicking on the link will redirect you to a page where you will be required to provide personal information such as credit card details and bank account details. If you fall for this trick, you will be handing over sensitive personal information to the scammer.
In this form of phishing, the scammer will pose as an e-card company and send you an email of a fake e-card notification. You will be required to click on a link that will supposedly lead you to your message. Clicking the link will download spyware or malware onto your device. This will give the scammer control of your device. Many people fall prey to this scam, especially with authentic-looking e-cards that you think is from someone you know.
Scammers will send you a fake email saying that they have noticed suspicious activity on your account. They may also claim that there’s a problem with your account and that it may be shut down if you don’t verify your identity. You will then be asked to click on a link. On clicking the link, you’ll be redirected to a malicious page masquerading as a legitimate one. You will then be required to provide your log information to verify your account. This way, you give the scammer your log-in information, enabling them to access your account. They will then have complete control to make illegitimate transactions.
Scammers understand that people love the idea of winning huge sums of money. That’s why so many lottery scams are successful. In this type of scam, you would get an email proclaiming a lottery win. The scammer will then require you to wire transfer a small amount to cover taxes, admin fees, or customs charges. If you do wire transfer funds, then you may as well say goodbye to that money!
Account suspension notification
If you get an email saying your account has been suspended, watch out. It is more than likely a scam. In this type of scam, you’d get an email appearing to come from your bank, cell phone provider, or a well-known company. The email will notify you that your account has been suspended, prompting you to click on some links to reactivate your account. Unsurprisingly, you’ll then be asked to provide passwords, account numbers, or personal information. So if you are unwary, you will fall prey to such a scam.
Zoom meeting scams
In this type of scam, you may receive an email from a scammer as a Zoom service provider saying that your account has been suspended, that you missed a meeting, or that zoom is ‘welcoming you.’ The message will then ask you to click on a link for more information. Be wary of this. Clicking on the link will plant malware on your device and control the device to the scammer.
Bank loan or credit card scam
In bank loan scams, the scammers pose as banking institutions. They spoof their email and send you an email message offering a low-cost loan. They will ask you to wire them an upfront fee or loan collateral. If you fall for this, they will cut off all contact with you.
With credit card scams, you get an email from a scammer pretending to be from your credit card company. The scammer tells you that they have noticed suspicious activity on your credit card account. The email message then asks you to click on a link to fix the issue. You then get redirected to a page where you’re required to enter your information. This affords the scammer to take control of your credit card and make purchases with it.
How To Avoid Email Frauds
Check the URL or email address.
The easiest way to spot and avoid a fraudulent email is by checking the URL link before clicking on it. You don’t have to be an expert to spot a fake/malicious URL. Just look for red flags such as unnecessary words and domains.
It would help if you also verified whether the sender of an email is who they say they are. You can use email lookup services for this, which will provide all the information about an email owner.
Avoid downloading or clicking on suspicious material.
You should avoid downloading any attachments on a suspicious-looking email at all costs. You should also never click on suspicious-looking material. By avoiding all this, you avoid the installation of malware on your device. This way, the scammer cannot have access to your device.
When you receive a suspicious email, it’s in your best interest to find out more before doing anything. Google knows everything! So if the email is a phishing attack disguised as a genuine email, you could easily find out by doing an online search. Other people may have published warnings, reviews, or scam reports regarding the same email.
Use the email filtering feature.
You can enable the email filtering feature of your email provider to analyze all incoming emails. The software will independently search for red flags that signal spam/phishing. Emails with red flags will then be moved to a separate folder where you are less likely to open them.
Always enter your bank’s website using the website address.
Never click on a suspicious link purporting to be a link to your bank’s website. Instead, when logging into your bank account, use their official website address. This way, you avoid providing your sensitive information on fake websites.
All in all, identifying and stopping a phishing attack is relatively easy. So when opening your email, always be vigilant of any suspicious mail. Follow the tips in this guide to avoid becoming a scammer’s next victim!.
Emily Andrews is the marketing communications specialist at RecordsFinder, an online public records search company. Communications specialist by day and community volunteer at night, she believes in compassion and defending the defenseless.