Tips for spotting email scams

Have you been contacted out of the blue? Have you been asked to share personal details? Is there something about the email you’ve received that just feels off? Scammers work in lots of different ways, developing new techniques all the time, and will use emails to try and steal sensitive data from you. 

Check who it’s from

It may look like a real email from a business you use, but if you hover over or right-click the sender’s name, you’ll be able to see the email address it has actually been sent from. The sender’s name may look legitimate, but often the email address will contain a small spelling error or could simply be a random assortment of numbers and letters.

Spelling or grammar mistakes

It’s no longer a given that fraudulent emails will be riddled with errors, but it’s still surprisingly common in phishing emails. Other things to look out for: is the email consistent in how it looks? Is there a mix of US and UK English? Does it use different font styles or even random sizes? These are all things that may signal it’s not genuine.

Small mistakes and style issues

Often scammers will mimic official-looking emails in an attempt to get you to part with your data. But check the little details the fraudsters might have missed. Are the copyright dates correct? Is the brand logo an old or discontinued version (or pixelated)? Does it match the style of previous emails you’ve had from the company or business?

Asking for personal details

Always remember, we’ll never (ever) ask you for sensitive infomation. So if you get an email asking for such details, or requesting you click on a link to supply them, it’s a red flag. Do not provide any personal information or click on any link in an email you’re unsure about. Such links may contain viruses that can infect your computer or even install ransomware.

Your urgent attention is required

Scammers will also stress the urgency of your actions in the hope you don’t take the time to check whether it’s real or not  – for example, saying your account is about to be closed, or that there is a payment issue on your account. Do not click the link. Instead, to check the status of your account.

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