Email is one of the most common forms of communication in today’s society. Whether it’s a message from your family or receipts for online purchases, this digital communication is widely used. Unfortunately, it’s also a venue for those looking to scam you or steal personal information. While some of these messages get caught in spam filters, sometimes they can get through and look amazingly real.
What can you do to avoid becoming the next victim?
Never Click Internal Links
Scammers can be quite creative when it comes to making an email look legitimate. They will often use graphics and logos from existing organizations to fool you into thinking the message is real, such as using UKPC as a template. These emails will often come with links requiring you to visit a site in order to claim a prize or clear up some legal problem. Do not click on those links.
It’s always safer to visit an organization directly by manually typing the address into your browser. Don’t copy and paste the address from the message, because it may actually be a phishing site or a link to downloadable malware. Search for the company in question and use public information to visit those sites or find contact numbers to call.
Never Send Information
A lot of email scams will ask for your name, address, bank account information and other data. You should avoid interacting with these messages altogether. If you receive a message stating that you won the lotto, they should already have your information. Otherwise, how would they know they sent the email to the right person?
Never Open Unsolicited Attachments
Unless you actually requested a file to be sent to your inbox, you should avoid opening any attachment you receive. It may deploy a payload of malware to infect your computer system. Even if the message is from someone you know and trust, always contact that person before opening an attachment you didn’t ask for.
Never Be Afraid of Threatening Messages
One of the tactics scammers use often is making the email sound threatening. This could be anything from stating you have delinquent taxes to threats against impounding your automobile. This content is made to prompt readers to react out of fear. Instead, contact the organization directly through phone or from their secured website. Very few agencies will ever send “threatening” messages through email regarding money you owe.
As long as you are vigilant regarding email messages, you can avoid becoming a victim of the criminal element. If a message looks suspicious, contact the authorities and report the email. Even a message that looks completely real could be harboring dangerous malware or a way to steal your information.
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