How to Spot an Email Scam

It’s 2018, which means hackers are more sophisticated. This can be dangerous for your business, especially if you have a large network of computers. Often in an office environment, you will have employees of all ages and experience levels when it comes to technology. It’s important to train your staff on how to spot a scam. Hackers use a variety of tools to trick and deceive users – but if you know what to look for you can prevent your network from becoming vulnerable.

Email scams

  1. You don’t recognize the name of the person emailing you and/or it sounds like a fake name. This doesn’t exactly spell trouble, but it should alert you to investigate further.
  2. The email address looks suspicious. Say the email subject line says it’s from Apple and they’re threatening to shut down your account if you don’t click on the link and log in with all your information. Look at the actual email address that sent this to you. If it says something like “apple@hotmail.com” that isn’t really from Apple. Many hackers do a good job of mimicking the look of a real website – keeping the branding the same – so always look at the address of origin.
  3. The email features alarmist language. If the subject line and body of the email feature words like, “Alert!” “Act now!” “Danger!,” it’s probably not real. Your company or clients probably wouldn’t send you an email using that kind of language. Don’t feel threatened or guilted into action by emails like this unless you have verification that it’s real.
  4. The email claims to be from a financial institution, the RCMP, or the CRA. Government and financial institutions will never send threatening emails. If you haven’t received anything in writing, it’s probably fake. Whether the email is asking for payment or offering you money – email is not how these messages would be communicated by these types of organizations.
  5. Poor spelling and grammar. While not everyone in your office may be versed in proper grammar and spelling, if the email comes from an unknown sender and overall seems suspicious, bad spelling and grammar will be a telltale that this isn’t legitimate.

So, what do you do when you get an email like this? First of all, do not open any attachments or click on any embedded links. Flag the email as spam and trash it. You can also report it to your boss or to your IT department.

Whether you receive these through your work email, or you personal account that you’re checking on your lunch hour, you do not want to open anything that could put the computer system at risk.

If you do end up with a problem, TwinBytes can help! We offer virus, spyware and hacker removal services! Contact us today for more information!