Top 10 Ways to Spot a Phishing Scam

As a result of the global Coronavirus pandemic, your team may experience an increase in phishing attacks. Scammers around the world are sending fake emails to trick you into giving them your personal information. Protect yourself and your company by monitoring your email and be on the lookout for the following:

  1. Spelling and Grammar Errors
    Check for spelling and grammatical errors in the subject line and body of the email. An email from a legitimate organization should be well written.
  2. Malicious Links
    Hover over hyperlinks in the email and check them out before clicking. These emails may include hyperlinks with malicious URLs that will lead you to fake websites.
  3. No Security Certificate
    URLs should begin with the secure https:// — not http://. If the URL lacks a security certificate, do not click.
  4. Unusual Generic Greeting
    Legitimate companies will usually call you by your name. Beware of generic greetings such as “Dear Online Shopping Customer”
  5. Warnings That Sound Legitimate
    The email may sound legitimate and state “we have noticed suspicious activity” or “there is a problem with the payment information on your account”
  6. Emails Asking for ‘Clicks’
    Email scams will almost always ask you to click on something. “Click here to update your payment information” or “Click here for the latest information on Covid-19”
  7. Bogus Email Addresses
    Phishing emails are typically sent from a bogus email address containing a company name. Make sure no alterations (like additional numbers or letters) have been made.
  8. Dangerous File Attachments
    The email may contain an attachment with a fake invoice or malware that will inject ransomware infections into your computer. Typically, authentic institutions do not randomly send you emails with attachments, but instead direct you to download documents or files on their own website.
  9. Panic
    The email will say something to cause panic such as threatening to close an account if you do not act immediately.
  10. CEO Fraud
    Hackers will often have these emails look like they are coming from an employer’s CEO. Typically, these emails will request employees to transfer money to an unauthorized account.

Even with the most secure security system, it only takes one employee to fall for a phishing attack and give away the data you’ve worked so hard to protect. Make sure both you and your employees understand these specific examples and the signs of a phishing attempt.

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