HP Technology at Work lists several items to look for in email that is a scam or Phishing email. The full article is here.
The dos and don’ts
While it’s easy to advise that common sense is the best way to avoid phishing scams, that’s not always the case. Some of these emails are so clearly fraudulent it’s almost comical, but even the most cautious employees can be tricked by the authentic-looking scams. So, what are the things to look for when trying to identify a potential phishing email?
- Unusual sender address: Many times, the address will appear legit at first glance, but if you look closely you’ll often notice some slight discrepancies (for example, “email@example.com” instead of “firstname.lastname@example.org”).
- Unusual URL: Similarly, if something seems off about the website URL they want you to click on, it probably is. Even if the link is disguised as a hyperlink, you can still hover over it before clicking to see the full address.
- Lacks personalization: If an email is telling you that your account has been compromised, or that you need to verify your password (all common phishing tactics), you would expect to see some personal information included (for example: name, account number, address). Since phishing attacks are sent out to millions of people, it’s rare that they actually contain this correct information.
- Misspellings: This is often the quickest way to identify a possible attack. The more misspellings, the more likely the email isn’t what it claims to be.
- Urgent action: “Please click this link/fill out this form immediately.” If it was really that urgent, someone would have called you.
- When in doubt: Don’t download any pictures. Don’t click on any attachments. Don’t click on any links. Don’t reply to the message. Don’t call any number listed on the email.
- The “What now?”: It happens. Maybe you weren’t paying attention. Maybe the email was so convincing you had no reason to doubt its authenticity. So you clicked on the link and… oops. If this happens, there isn’t much time to feel sorry for yourself.
See the full article if you feel you have fallen victim to a phishing scam and understand some of the items you can do to reduce the consequences.