As long as the internet has been around so have scam emails. These emails, also known as phishing scams, have become harder to detect because fraudsters have come up with new methods and tricks to steal your data. This is why you need to know how to detect scam emails and stay safe online.
Look At The From Address
The first step to detecting a scam email is to look at the ‘from’ address. Scammers will have what looks like a genuine sender name such as a person’s name, a company or a support team. This is done to make you believe the email is from a legitimate source.
However, if you look at the email behind the name, it will tell you a different story. Clicking on the name or hovering over it will display the email address the sender is using. This email address will often be an incoherent jumble of letters and numbers.
If the email is coming from a company, the sender’s address should be a name or team at the company. In these cases, you should look at the end of the email address to check if it is a .com address or not. Some scammers will purchase domains such as .xyz with a legitimate company name.
Asking For Personal Information
The easiest way to detect a scam email is when they ask you to update or re-enter personal information out of the blue. Most companies will not ask you to do this via email. These companies will also avoid pushing you to their website from the email to do this.
If a legitimate company needs this personal information, they will ask you to contact them. This will generally be done by phone or by going to one of their branches. They will not ask you to provide personal data such as SS numbers and PIN numbers.
Check The Information In The Email
At the bottom of the email, you should look for any contact information. If there is a clickable link, you should hover over it and see where the link leads. If the link does not go directly to the website it should, you are likely looking at a scam email.
If the link address appears legitimate, you should not rush to click it. If the email wants you to click the link to access an important message, you should instead open a new tab and navigate to the website directly. If the email is legit, the message will be on your account.
You should also check the branding of the email against any document or emails you have received from the company in the past. If you have never dealt with the company before, you should compare the branding to their website and social media. If the branding does not match, you are looking at a scam email.
Email scams are still around and they are getting more sophisticated. Knowing how to detect scam emails can help you stay safe online. Fortunately, there are little details that you can look for to determine if an email is legit.