Top 5 Ways to Identify a Scam/Spam Email
Spam/scam emails can contain harmful malicious links and/or attachments, with the intention of infecting your computer with viruses and spyware, stealing your login credentials, or even infecting your computer with ransomware and holding your data hostage!
Top 5 signs to look out for:
1. Who has actually sent it
Just because the name of the sender seems legitimate (i.e. “PayPal”) does not mean it’s actually come from PayPal – you need to check the email address itself to verify the sender.
In the example image above you can see that while they claim to be from “Account Support”, this is just a random gmail address and has not come from PayPal.
2. Poorly worded/spelled
Often these emails can contain poor grammar and spelling, if you see this then it’s a clear sign to not trust the email.
3. Unexpected communications
If you receive an email about something unexpected such as a pending shipment but you haven’t ordered anything online it’s safe to assume the email is not legitimate.
4. Fake links
Simply hovering over any links in an email can show you where they’re actually trying to take you to. Often phishing emails will take you to a website you weren’t expecting, or a fake one impersonating another site.
5. Too good to be true
If the email is suggesting you’ve won something or similar and seems too good to be true – it likely is, and should not be trusted. Unfortunately, the prince of Nigeria is too busy to be emailing all of us…
What not to do:
You should never click on “Unsubscribe” with a spam email as this link, like any others in the email could lead you to anything (phishing), and at the very least tells the spammers that your email address is active – so they’ll target you with more and more spam emails in the future. Similarly, do not reply to these emails either.
Ensure that you do not open any attachments, these can also contain malware and infect your computer.
What to do:
Flag the email as spam/junk, and delete it.
If you have opened the email and any of its attachments or clicked on any of the links it contains then bring your computer to us for a Full Service and health check to ensure your computer has not been compromised and is safe to use.
Are you worried that your computer may have been compromised or is infected?
If you’re worried that your computer has been compomised or is infected, perhaps from clicking an unknown link in an email or opening a suspicious attachment, we can service your computer for you to ensure that it has a clean bill of health. You can bring your computer in or contact us here to discuss this further.
Where can you learn more?
The “Little black book of scams” from the ACCC has some great advice about common scams that are out there, and can be a great conversation piece to help educate someone on them. We have physical copies available for free in-store, and it can also be downloaded for free here.