Scam emails have put many people in trouble. Email filters do not always keep out scam emails. The major problem is that scam emails deceive people to click on links that harvest their credit card information, passwords and other confidential information. These are used by the scammers on the other end to access bank accounts and transfer huge sums of money out of the account. For your financial safety, you need to be able to recognize scam emails and avoid following any directives they may give you. So, how do you recognize a scam email?
First, check the sender email address. Often, that is the first pointer to the dubious nature of the email – an Email fraud. It will often have an address that is quite different from the company that the email claims to have originated from. Check the image attached to this blog post for instance; the email claims to be from Access Online , while the email address is an account on propertywide.co.uk.
RED FLAG ALERT! Any business worth its salt that uses internet banking or marketing would have her own website where emails will originate from. So, an email from Access Bank for instance will originate from an Access Bank website.
Perhaps, the email address checks out or the links look genuine; then confirm that it is a genuine one and not a closely resembling fake. One quick way to confirm is to go to your bank statement emails (just do a search in your email app/browser window with the bank name) and check the website details at the end of the email. Watch out for single alphabet differences or even misspellings. Those may be mirror or copy websites built for the purpose of scamming innocent and guileless customers.
Another way to identify scam emails and prevent yourself from being duped is to watch out for inconsistencies in language and grammar. Scammers are often not the best linguists and a careful check of scam emails often show that they are full of errors in tenses, lexis and structure. Financial institutions are able to employ people who speak and write well for managing their email communications. Any deviations from acceptable language conventions should alert you and help you recognize a possible scam email.
Also, a good way to ensure that you recognize scam emails is to trust your instincts and your memory. If you do not remember performing a transaction and then you get an email that emphatically says you did – BEWARE! Do not rush to check it out by clicking on the link. You may endanger yourself and expose your financial details to the scammers who are on the prowl. In the example email posted, the website link is a genuine one but it asks me to confirm debit for a transaction I never did. Moreover, as at the time, I did not have an Access Bank account. If a customer with that bank got the email, they may be tricked into clicking on the link and filling in their details and pronto! Money is debited from their account and the fraudsters smile to the bank.
I repeat do not click on the links until you are sure that they originated from a trustworthy source. If you take these precautions, you will always be able to recognize scam emails and avoid falling into their trap.
Do you have additional tips for recognizing scam emails? How do you avoid getting scammed on the internet? Please share, I d love to learn more from you.