Email scams are used to find out your personal information – credit card details, passwords, etc. – by fooling you into thinking they’re legitimate. There are hundreds of ways to fall prey to an email scam, but detecting them is actually fairly simple. Follow our 5 ways to spot an email scam, and never be a victim!
1) The email requests your personal information
Official organisations do not ask for your personal information, whether it’s your bank asking you to verify your account details or a survey asking you for your address. If you hover your mouse over the sender’s email address, the chances are you’ll see one completely unrelated to their claims. If they start the email with ‘Dear valued customer’ or ‘To member’, you’ll know it’s fake.
2) Suspicious Links
If you receive an email from an organisation or person you don’t know, asking you to click on a link, don’t do it! Even if the link looks legitimate, how can you be sure that it’s safe?
Look at it this way: If your bank wants you to verify your account details, why would they send you an email, rather than calling or sending a letter? And why don’t they know your name?
If you don’t know the sender, don’t click the link.
3) Bad spelling/typos
If you notice a lot of spelling errors in the email, it might be cause for suspicion. A lot of scammers are from overseas and do not speak English, and others are just careless.
4) Unknown attachments
Just like with number 2, if you don’t know the sender and they have included an attachment in the email, don’t open it. It’s just common sense!
5) The email is a picture
Some emails are merely pictures – when you click anywhere in the body of the email, it can take you to a suspicious website. Here’s a quick tip: if you hover your mouse over a body of text and your mouse cursor doesn’t pick up the fact that it’s a word (see picture below – that’s what your cursor should look like), it’s an image – don’t click on it.
So that’s it! Now you know the basics behind spotting a scam email, you’re less likely to fall for them. Be vigilant out there – if you’re even slightly suspicious, ignore and delete!