Email is the easiest way of communication for us when it comes to official or even personal information sharing. Any unauthorized activity into your email account may harm you financially as well as socially. Emails offering financial, physical or emotional benefits, which are in reality linked to a wide variety of frauds. These include emails posing as being from ‘trusted’ sources such as your bank, HMRC or anywhere else that you have an online account. They ask you to click on a link and then disclose personal information. With access to updated and modern technology, fraudsters have started trapping people in ways which are very hard to identify. So today we are sharing some expert tips to our readers about how to avoid email scams :
How to avoid email scams
Before we tell you how to avoid email scams you must know the different types of email scams used to cheat people :
When opening a bank account of any kind you are informed beyond any doubt that the bank will never, ever, send you an e-mail asking for your information. The simple and most obvious answer is your bank already has all your information needed to them – Your birth date, your background, your ID card No etc. But millions of people still reply to e-mails asking for just that. Scammers try to mimic the professional layout of your bank and they will originate from a similar domain. First thing to look out for is how they greet you at beginning of the email, All emails sent by a bank are personalized, That means they will start with your full name or first name mentioned there and not anything like- “Dear valued customer” !! They may even inform you about expiry of any account or billing problems. There are also fraud mails that offer you pre- approved loan or credit cards. Before clicking on a link just hover the mouse. The link in the mail from the XYZ Bank will read https://www.xyzbank.com/link, or similar, rather than http://somethingelsefakebank.com/link or similar, or a series of numbers, called an “IP address,” like http://188.8.131.52/link, or similar. If you have received something so goog to be true deal, be sure it is fake.
Want to read more tips on how to avoid email scams? read our blog about Phishing Attack Protection, Click HERE
Another one of the more common email scams is the Nigerian Email scam. It is also famous as 419 scams. victims are likely to receive a mail from a king or a member of a royal family with a request to help recover large sums of money from an overseas bank. As a reward, you’ll receive a handsome cut of the cash. The sum of money offered is enough for you to purchase a private jet. Now if you are replying the mail believing it to be true then the next mail would ask you to provide your bank account information. Also, there are transfer fees involved, and you have to pay those as well. Once you pay a couple hundred dollars, waiting for your huge windfall, you receive another email stating there has been some type of hold up, and you must send a bit more cash. This way the victim will end up losing a lot of money without suspecting. Mostly if you have ever received such an email you will find a lot of typos there, the messages are poorly written and have been sent from a fishy email id. If you want to read more about how to avoid email scams and Nigerian money fraud you can scroll down to the bottom and find many more articles.
Phishing Email Scam
Creating a sense of fear and urgency to the receiver is a common trick scammers use for money theft, You will receive an email that appears to be from PayPal with a warning message such as, “Act now, or your account will be deactivated,” or “Security breach on your account.” This would obviously create a panic for you and you will probably log into your account
But this is not actually the original pay-pal account you are logging in, Instead to a page identical to pay-pal and you are handing over all your credentials to a cyber criminal who can now use that information to change your password and clean you out. They may even use this information to scam your friends and business associates.
Here are some surefire ways to tell if an email supposedly from PayPal is nothing but a scam:
Just because the sender’s name is “PayPal Security Center” does not make it legitimate. An address such as “[email protected]” is a direct indication of you falling victim of a scam. PayPal only sends emails from addresses that end in “@paypal.com.”They Don’t Know Who You Are. Whether it’s PayPal or your credit card company, if you do business with them, they know your name and will use every opportunity to use it. Any correspondence beginning with “Dear valued customer” is a scam.
Again look if there is a personalized framing in the mail, Your name and account number must be mentioned there if it is real.
The Linked URL Is Not Legitimate. Hover your mouse over the “click here” or “take action now” link, and if you see a strange URL that does not take you to PayPal.com, don’t click.
Want to read more tips on how to avoid email scams? read our blog about Phishing Attack Protection, Click HERE.
Many people who want to scam you will create programs and spy applications that will send them your bank details as soon as you use any online monetary service. They normally skulk around in the attachments of e-mails. Many scammers will find a funny picture or video and will send it to as many people as they can.
They are getting into the mindset of your typical office worker who will forward the e-mail to all his/her family, friends and co-workers. When these email scams are successful, scammers can often retrieve thousands of people’s details. Think about it. If they send it to one person who then sends it to thirty, each of these people will again send it to all their contacts. Hundreds of peoples’ details all in a very short space of time.
Lottery Email Scams
First, you will receive a mail from a renowned company informing you that you have recently won a lottery, In order to receive the winnings, you will be asked to send money – from few hundred to a few thousand rupees to an account. This would be asked as the charges for your money transfer commission, taxes, fees for opening a bank account, etc. Obviously, the money asked for all these will look very substantial compared to the amount won in lottery. However, once you sent them what they ask you for the mails or the contact person will disappear and there will only be a remote chance to get back what you have spent.
According to Kaspersky Lab’s statistics, messages like this can make up as much as three percent of all spam in any given month – that’s thousands of messages. To avoid falling victim to online fraud, you need to follow some simple rules:
Remember, you cannot win a cash prize in a lottery you have not participated in.
Do not trust automatically translated messages or those containing obvious mistakes.
Always check the sender’s email address(es). Lottery organizers will not send messages from free mail services.
If you still think the message you have received is about a real win, check all the information. Use search engines to look at the lottery name, the senders’ names and telephone numbers. Among the search results you may find detailed commentary.
Most importantly, always remember: there is no such thing as a free lunch.
Want to read more tips on how to avoid email scams? read our blog about Cyber Monday Scams, Click HERE
email scams : The Latest Forms –
At the end we are going to tell you about the latest form of emails scam and how to avoid email scams – There have been reports of very recent fraud activity, Email purporting to be from the Gmail Members Services Team claims that you must validate and update your Gmail account to avoid ‘Instant Email Suspension’. It is just another form of phishing.
It states something like this –
Dear Gmail User,
As part of our security measures, we regularly update all accounts on our database system. Validate and update your Gmail account now to avoid Instant Email SuspensionClick here to verify your account
Warning! Any account owner that refuses to update their account after receiving this email will lose their account permanently.
We appreciate your cooperation in this matter.
Gmail Member Services Team
In reality, these are not sent from any of the Gmail service authority, According to this email, which claims to be from the Gmail Members Services Team, Gmail accounts are regularly updated as a part of ongoing security measures. Therefore, suggests the message, you must click a link to validate and update your account and avoid ‘Instant Email Suspension’. The email further warns that those who refuse to update as requested will lose their accounts permanently.
If you fall into the trap and click the link, you will be taken to a fraudulent website designed to look like a genuine Google page and asked to log in with your Gmail address and password. Once you have submitted your login details, you receive a reply claiming that you have successfully validated your account.
Now the criminals who created this fraud will get all the details of your account you supplied to hijack your genuine Google account. They may thus be able to access, not only your Gmail account but other Google services including Google Drive, Google+, and YouTube. The criminals can then use these services to pose as you and launch ongoing spam and scam attacks. They will also be able to access and misuse private information stored in these services.
Gmail will never send you an email that demands that you click a link to update account details. If you receive such an email, do not click any links or open any attachments that it contains. Because when they hack your account they not only compromise yours but also they start rifling through inboxes to launch secondary attacks in order to pass on the attack. The hackers first look for an attachment that victims have previously sent to their contacts and a relevant subject from an actual sent email. Then the criminals will start gathering up contact email addresses, who become the new targets of the attackers. After finding one, the hackers create an image (screenshot) of that attachment and include it in reply to the sender with the same or similar subject for the email, invoking recognition and automatic trust.
This form of Gmail phishing attack uses image attachments that masquerade as a PDF file with a thumbnailed version of the attachment, which makes it way more deadly. The URL of the fake Gmail login page contains the accounts.google.com subdomain, which is enough to fool the majority of people into believing that they are on a legitimate Google page. In the words of WordFence CEO Mark Maunder – “This phishing technique uses something called a ‘data URI’ to include a complete file in the browser location bar. When you glance up at the browser location bar and see ‘data:text/html…..’ that is actually a very long string of text.”
“In this [attack] the ‘data:text/html’ and the trusted hostname are the same color. That suggests to our perception that they’re related and the ‘data:text/html’ part either doesn’t matter or can be trusted.”
- Think twice before clicking on any link.
- Immediately report any suspicious activity on your account.
- Do change your password in a regular time interval and keep it as secret as possible.
- stop putting your email id in dubious websites.
- Always make sure the spam filter is on.
- Always run an antivirus on your computer and regularly check whether your system is by any chance infected or not. Our Malware Protection blog will surely help you for better assistance, read it HERE.
Source : Seeker Network
Hope you liked the the blog about how to avoid email scams. You must understand that scammers only make benefit of your stupidity, Be smart and act wisely to stay protected from all these scams. For your help, we have lined up a few best articles on how to avoid email scams and online frauds written by our cyber experts. Please check them out.