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5 Signs Your Reading a Phishing Scam

The threat of phishing scams is real, with many businesses losing valuable data, time and money every year after falling into the common cyber trap. In 2018 alone, 83% of people were affected by phishing attacks, which saw a decrease of productivity for 67% of businesses, a loss of data for 54% and damaged the reputation for over half of them. But, how can you tell if the email you’ve received is genuine or fake? We’ve rounded up some of the biggest telltale signs of a phishing email below.

Written by Adam Bovan

October 2019

It’s from an unknown sender.

Depending on what circles you mix with, you won’t usually know a phishing scammer, or have their email addresses saved in your contacts.

Email providers are becoming increasingly smart and most now flag up when an unknown sender is trying to contact you, or even delivering suspicious emails straight to your spam inbox.

However, some still slip through the cracks, so it’s crucial to be wary of people you haven’t spoken to or dealt with before, especially if they’re asking you to send across sensitive information.

Or, someone you actually know.

On the other hand, phishing scammers have become wise to this and are now posing as people you know. It could be a colleague, a supplier your bank or another trusted service provider, such as PayPal.

If you have any doubt to whether the email is genuine, contact the supposed sender but not by email – try calling your bank to see if the email is real or a scam.

Links and addresses are masked.

One way scammers pretend to be people you’d usually trust is through masking or hiding their real email addresses.

You can check this by hovering over the sender’s email address and the real “Sent From” address should appear.

Scammers also like to mask malicious links to make them appear like their taking you through to a trusted website.

It’s got bad spelling and grammar.

A prominent feature of phishing emails is that many just don’t read right.

It could be bad spelling or grammar, or weirdly-worded sentences that just seem a bit off, or not how most people would phrase things.

The email has an urgent or panicked tone.

The main aim of a phishing scam is to persuade you to do something; it could be to respond with your bank details or personal data, download a file, or click a link and sign into a (malicious) website.

Phishing emails usually feel urgent and even a bit aggressive at times, prompting you to do something quickly or as soon as possible.

This panic-inducing tactic is a popular way to make people putty in the fishers (virtual) hands.

Are you concerned about your business’ cybersecurity? Get in touch with a member of our team today and we can give you some advice. 

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