7 ways to identify a phishing scam

From: trustme@yourorgc.om
To:you@yourorg.com
Date: Monday May 5, 2018 3:30 am
Subject: Act now to avoid irreparable consequenses!!!!!!!!

Hello Sparky,

Due to the iregular fiscal quarter, we will need to upload our monthly reports early and to a different server. Click on this link spreadsheet or the attatchment below to upload your financial reports. Keep up the good work!

Sincerely,

Todd Goodatmanagement Esq.
CEO- Your Org


Consider the above email. Anything seem odd? Out of place? Abnormal? Too good to be true? Go with your gut! 

Criminals running phishing scams are crafty chameleons who excel at impersonating agencies and authorities in order to trick you into releasing valuable data. Email is a very common medium for these con artists. Be suspicious of any email out of the ordinary. Look closely at the following items to protect yourself. 


1. From: Is the sender’s email address from a suspicious domain? Is this not someone you usually communicate with?

2. To: Were you cc’d on this email but don’t recognize the other names who received it? Is there an unusually large amount of people in the To field? Do all the names start with the same letter?

3. Date: Did you receive the email during regular business hours? Did you receive it suspiciously late at night?

4. Subject: Does the subject line seem unrelated to the content of the email? Are there misspellings? Is the message a reply to something you never sent or requested?

5. Content: Is the sender asking you to click on a link or attachment to avoid a negative consequence or gain something of value? Is the email asking you to look at a compromising picture of you or someone you know? Are there misspellings and bad grammar? Do you get a gut feeling that something is not right?

6. Hyperlinks: Remember, "hover to discover." Hover your cursor over the link without clicking to display the full web address. Is it what the email claims? Is it slightly different than an address you know? Is the email just a hyperlink?

7. Attachments: Is this attachment unexpected or seems to not relate to the message? Is it an odd file type? The only file type that is always safe to click on is a txt file.


Want some more info? Check out these articles:

The Motherboard Guide to Not Getting Hacked

Protect Yourself from W-2 Phishing Scams

Netflix Phishing Scam Provokes Police Warning

Ecommerce: Is it truly safe?

 

And of course, your library has hundreds of books to arm yourself with.

More ways to protect yourself online.

 

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