How to Spot a F@ke Email
Hackers can fool you in plain sight, so even if the name on that email looks familiar, scroll over it to make sure that the email address itself is legitimate. Remember, the reason that so many of these cyber schemes work is that they are very clever.
By posing as a legitimate business or person, the cybercriminal has a better chance of getting you to believe that the email is a real request. At this point, any engagement, whether it is clicking on a file or link, opening an attachment or responding to the email query could put you in jeopardy.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR:
The first thing to look for is the domain the email is coming from. If an organization is on the up and up, these emails usually end with the organization or company's name and a .com, .org, or .net.
What comes after the "@" symbol is super important, so something like firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com, should be legitimate.
However, if you ever get someone claiming they are from a real deal organization, you'll know they're probably lying if:
- the sender's domain is Gmail, Hotmail, AOL, yahoo, etc.
- the email has a domain name that is unknown to you or is misspelled.
- the name in the email address and the sender's name do not match.
HERE IS AN EXAMPLE:
Let's say you often deal with a Beth Morgan from Wells Fargo, or maybe you just bank there and deal with several people.
It's the 15th of the month and you get an email says that you overpaid your credit card payment and now have a credit due you. The email says “click here” to have the refund check immediately cut back to you, or that you can do nothing, and you will see the credit in 2-3 billing cycles.
The sender says it is Beth Morgan, and that name is familiar to you, but when you scroll over the name, the email address that comes up is from firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you do not look closely, you could miss that the domain is missing the "m" in com and if you do, you've been scammed.
Our best advice? Check the address and name twice, and if there is any doubt, contact the sender separately (not in response to the email) and ask.
There are so many tricks hackers use to trick you. Be ahead of the game and learn how to spot fake emails and links, before you click on them. We have a training course availablbe to help you with this. Contact Brian at email@example.com, if you would like to learn more!