How to Detect Scamming Emails – Email fraud has been around for years and phishing is a type of email fraud. Between 2010 and 2014 alone, phishing incidents increased by more than 160%, costing businesses worldwide billions of dollars and affecting more than half of internet users. Learn how to detect fraudulent emails and phishing scams and protect yourself.
What is Email Fraud?
Email fraud is any fraud that uses email as its main vector. The most common email fraud is phishing fraud, followed by spoofing fraud.
Phishing is a type of fraud where scammers try to get sensitive information from potential victims.
Spoofing involves making it look like an email that comes from a legitimate source. Quite often the two are used together to make complicated fraud.
How Does Scam Emails Work?
This scam first found your way into your inbox, and seems to come from a legitimate source. They often come in the form of messages about some big opportunity that you need to take advantage of immediately, or some kind of emergency or problem that you need to deal with and solve.
How to Detect Scamming Emails
There is almost always a sense of urgency designed to motivate you to act without thinking. Scammers know the more time you spend before taking action, the more thoughts you will do and the easier it will be for you to find inconsistencies in your email and be suspicious.
The idea is to get you to act on a sense of urgency, and usually involves clicking on some sort of link that will take you to the scammer’s website, where you are asked to log in to your account or take some other action designed to get you personal data.
Sometimes just by clicking the malware download link to your computer, where it will cause havoc. The same thing happens if the e-mail includes some kind of attachment, which is usually malware that you unknowingly download to your computer when you open the attachment.
Regardless, once you provide your personal information, such as your telephone number, social security number, bank account number, or pin, it will be used by scammers for fraudulent purposes.
How do Email Scammers Find Victims?
Email fraudsters usually buy email addresses in bulk on a dark web. Every time you hear about a massive data breach affecting a large company, chances are that the compromised email will be sold on the black market.
In other cases, scammers find your email through a trial and error process where they try various possible names. Whatever method is used, you are almost guaranteed to receive at least one email from a scammer for the rest of your life. More than half the internet receives at least one phishing email every day.
How Do I Avoid Getting Involved in Email Fraud?
Developing the ability to locate these emails is your best line of defense. The following helpful indicators will let you know if you are dealing with bogus emails.
THE DOMAIN IS PUBLIC
Most formal emails from the company, unless you are communicating with specific employees, finish with the company domain. While most institutions will use “@ university.edu,” Google, for instance, utilizes “@ google.com,” where “university” is frequently the name or abbreviation of the university. It’s highly likely that you’re dealing with a fraud if the email address finishes in the public domain.
FAKE DISPLAY NAME
Before you read the email, Google’s name can appear in the display name and “From:” box. You will discover that the email has nothing to do with Google if you look at the email address, though.
Even when the email address is entirely fictitious, it is simpler to fake a display name than an email since the scammer can choose whatever display name to use. Most individuals also have a tendency to trust display names and will not truly check email addresses since they think the source is reliable.
THE FALSE DOMAIN NAME
On first inspection, a domain name may appear to be legitimate. From a distance, it can appear to be @ microsoft.com, but it’s best to check closely. Microsoft.com, for instance, might be impersonated as “mircosoft.com,” “micosoft.com,” or other versions. The two appear similar, however they are both phony.
Even if the sender’s email address appears to be valid, make sure to carefully examine it to check for typos in the domain name.
ENTIRE EMAIL CONTAINS MISTAKE ERRORS
Valid workplace emails are frequently reviewed and edited to ensure that they are grammatically accurate and error-free. many emails Typos and grammar mistakes can be used to identify scammers.
Lessen your focus on typos and focus more on grammatical faults when you encounter a questionable email. Typos occur even among natural speakers. Many of the grammatical mistakes in fraudulent emails are unavoidable and are only made by non-native speakers. They are unmistakable and will leave you with a sneaking hunch that something is amiss.
HOW MANY RECIPIENTS ARE THERE?
Typically, scammers use an automated procedure to send their emails. They gather a lot of addresses and send out mass emails to everybody. Your address may be among many others in the “To:” field of your email. That ought to send up a warning sign right away. Legitimate businesses don’t tag many additional addresses in emails they intend to deliver you on a personal basis. Only for your eyes, typically.
SUSPICIOUS LINKS AND ATTACHMENTS
Suspicious attachments and links are frequently seen in scam emails. Never open an attachment from one of these emails as it is very likely to be infected with malware.
Simply get in touch with the sender via another method, like phone or IM, and question them about it if you want to confirm whether the file originates from a legitimate source or not. Open no attachments.
In some emails, the link can be found behind a button. If so, move your cursor over the link to reveal the URL in the browser’s lower left corner. Don’t click if the URL seems dubious. Ask the sender about the legitimacy of the link instead by getting in touch with them using a variety of other channels.
The message will frequently attempt to create a sense of urgency. They will inform you that your account has been compromised and that you need to take urgent action to protect it, or that you are a lottery winner who you do not recall signing up for, and that you need to take action right away to claim your prize. When you observe this, you should be aware that fraud is clearly at play.
Criminals will use any means necessary, such as instilling a false sense of urgency, to get you to act hastily.
I’ve become a victim. What should I do?
Inform your boss or the IT department if you have been defrauded and the occurrence took place on a work computer. If it’s on your personal computer, report it right away online.
Additionally, you must act quickly to secure the compromised account by updating your password, notifying Google, your bank, or any other platform where you opened the account, or both. Contact your bank and ask them to immediately freeze your credit card if your credit card information is compromised.
In order for this fraud to be fully investigated and avoided in the future, you must ultimately inform others by reporting it. Finding out where to look for them is now your best line of protection.
How Can I Prevent Being a Victim of Email Fraud?
Unfortunately, being a target simply because of your email address. Make sure to strongen your passwords and change them frequently. Upper- and lowercase letters, at least one number, and at least one symbol make up a good password.
When you are aware that there is fraud, you are more likely to spot it and report it.