How To Spot Scam Emails

People love receiving email because it’s so much faster than snail mail could ever be. But one of the worst things about receiving email is the number of scam emails one could receive. Scam emails and phishing attempts tend to evolve constantly, taking the form of the latest in trends as well as current events. It’s so easy to mistake scam emails for genuine, legitimate ones – it’s scary!

Here are sure-fire ways to spot (and avoid!) scam emails:

– They contain red flag phrases. Emails that use the phrases “Verify your account,” “If you don’t respond in X amount of hours, your account will be closed,” or “You have just won the lottery” are always scams – especially the latter! Delete ASAP.

– They have generic greetings. When an email addresses you as “Dear member” or “Hello friend,” you’ll want to ignore it. Your bank and credit card knows who you are, as do your friends – but scammers, not so much!

– They request personal information. No matter how authentic the email looks, if they ask for your social security, bank number or PIN via email without a link and just a form to enter it in, there’s your red flag. Ignore, ignore, ignore!

– They have typos or spelling mistakes in their copy or links. Most legitimate organizations have academically-trained people manning their emails. Chances are, if there are multiple grammatical errors, it’s most likely a scam. Scam artists tend to be street smart, but when it comes to basic grammar (or even just English in general), they fail.

– They contain outdated information. While many scammers think they are being clever by posing as tech support or customer service from a company you work with, they also tend to fail at keeping up with current events – such as companies who have been bought out by others.

– They include clickable links in the body of their email. One of the most prominent ways to recognize scam emails is if there is a link to a website – after all, on the other side, no doubt, are thieves and scammers awaiting to steal your hard-earned money and your identity.

– They have attachments in their emails. Like clickable links, attachments in an email is one major red flag for scam. The best rule of thumb is to not open the email from someone you don’t know – or even your bank or credit card company – if there’s an attachment involved. It’s almost always a virus or malicious spyware.

Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images



Leave a Reply