HomeHome : Monthly Tips : Feb 2014

Don't Get Scammed

February 2014 — Tip of the Month

Email is a great way to communicate with anyone in the world. Unfortunately, it's also a great way for scammers to take advantage of people. Here are a few tips to avoid getting scammed.

  1. Check the From address. If the email address is not legit, neither is the email. For example, if a message appears to be a notification from your bank, but the email is from a completely unrelated domain, it's probably a scam.
  2. Look for your name. Nearly all legitimate mass emails will include your name in the message. Scammers often send out thousands of messages to random email addresses, so they cannot personalize each one. If the email doesn't include your name somewhere in the message, there's a good chance it's either spam or a phishing email.
  3. Check the links in the message. Most email clients allow you to roll over links with your cursor to see what URL each link will open. If a link is unrelated to the email (such as an unknown domain name), don't even bother clicking it. Even clicking the link might add your address to a spam database.
  4. Don't enter personal information before verifying the website. If you do click on a link that looks legit and it asks you to enter personal information, or even a username and password, don't enter anything until you know the website is legitimate. Make sure it is a secure site (that displays a lock icon in the address bar) and that the domain name matches the identity of the email sender. Always check the domain name in your browser before entering any information into an online form.

Since the Internet provides anonymity to thieves, it also provides an easy way for people with malicious intent to take advantage of unsuspecting victims. Therefore, you should always be wary of emails from scammers and review messages for accuracy before following any instructions.

- Per Christensson