Something Fishy? How to Recognize a Phishing Scam

Something Fishy? How to Recognize a Phishing Scam

How can I tell if an email is a phishing scam? If you know someone who has been a victim of a phishing scam this might be a question you have asked yourself once or twice. It’s also a great question to ask, considering 97% of the global population cannot spot all the types of phishing emails that are out there.

In a nutshell, a phishing email is one that appears to be sent by a legitimate company, asking you to verify personal information. In reality, you are giving hackers and scammers access to your computer or device and your identity so they can steal your information and take your money.

Fortunately, by knowing how to recognize these emails you can avoid being scammed or downloading malicious software to your computer or device. If you are wondering how to recognize a phishing email, this short and simple guide is for you.

The Email Address Is From a Public Domain

A great tip for how to avoid a phishing scam is to look at the sender’s email address. If the email is from a well-established company but is using a public domain address, such as @gmail.com, it’s not real. If your electric company is contacting you from a Gmail account, consider it a scam.

There Are Spelling and Grammar Errors

One of the many signs an email is a phishing scam is the spelling and grammar errors. This is mostly because phishing emails originate from non-English speaking countries and are written by non-native speakers. If you receive a poorly-written email, it’s likely a scam.

The Email Asks for Your Personal Information

A sign of a phishing email is it’s asking you to verify your personal information. For security reasons, your credit card company will not email you asking you to verify your PIN, credit card number, or SSN. If you get one of these emails, delete and block.

There Is a Sense of Urgency

A helpful tip for how to spot a phishing scam is to look for a false sense of urgency. The email might say your account is in jeopardy and will be closed immediately if you don’t confirm your information. This is similar to the JG Wentworth ads that play on your immediate need for money.

If an email is making you feel as if you need to give out your personal information, click a link, download an attachment, or call a number immediately, it is likely a phishing scam.

This Is How To Spot a Phishing Scam

By knowing the signs, you can recognize a phishing scam before it’s too late.

Start by looking at the sender’s email address instead of just the subject line. Look for spelling and grammar errors or a false sense of urgency. If you get an email with all of these signs, avoid clicking on links, calling phone numbers, or downloading attachments.

By following these tips, you can learn to spot a phishing email.

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