The world of tech is changing rapidly and so is the world of online frauds. People involved in scamming gullible online users are getting more and more creative every day. And hence it’s prudent that you should keep your guard up all the times.
The number of people becoming victim to online scams has grown exponentially and believed it or not, these stories include some of the smartest individuals. But you can avoid all the losses (not just financial ones) if you are aware of How to Spot a Phishing Email:
No Free lunches in the world:
You may have heard of brands and companies giving away their products for free to their top fans. But at what cost? All of these give away events ask you for your email addresses and other contact information which later becomes a valuable data for them. More so often scammers try to dupe you into believing that you have won one such give away and you only need to pay for shipping. In most of the cases, this shipping fee would be double the cost of the actual product. That does not mean you should not participate in the give- away offered by brands; all you need to do is be a little cautious about what you share on such websites.
Emails with a sense of Urgency/Fear:
You most definitely would have come across one such email in your life where the sender claims to have reserved the specific item for you. Also called as creating a sense of urgency. For example, you may receive an email, someone, pretending to be from Luxury watch company and claim that they have only x number of pieces left at discount price. Never pay attention to such emails. The other kind of phishing emails includes the ones where the sender tries to instigate fear in you. One such email could be the one where your tax records have been found irregular by authorities. Do not fall for such emails. Always verify the details of the sender of the email. This is How to Spot a Phishing Email in your Inbox.
In unusual cases, you may receive emails threatening to lock your bank account or credit card if you do not respond to emails and login to your account. Guess what? The login page you will be visiting is designed by the scammers to capture your credentials. Always check with your bank or financial institution before believing such emails. Contacting the authorities is one of the best ways to identify phishing Emails.
Good old Nigerian Prince Scam:
Imagine receiving an email from a stranded prince who claims to share his wealth with you provided you send him some cash urgently. This classic scam has been around since the inception of emails and believe it or not people still fall for it. As per the latest article published on CNBC, https://www.cnbc.com/2019/04/18/nigerian-prince-scams-still-rake-in-over-700000-dollars-a-year.html, the scam even costs gullible people over $700000 a year. Although major email service providers have become cautious and they send such emails to your spam folder directly. But the scammers keep inventing new ways to trick people. Being alert is the key to identify Phishing Emails. Remember point 1; there are no free lunches in the world. Next time you receive such email, delete it.
Email sender looks dubious:
Imagine your bank with American Express and the email you received is from “firstname.lastname@example.org”. Remember, this is a false email address. Try to notice that the email sender has registered their email with Gmail and there’s no way American Express would send an email via Gmail.
Scammers keep changing their methods to trick innocent people, and as an individual, it’s your responsibility to ensure you remain aware of them. Keep your computer and smartphones updated. No matter what, don’t just believe any email.