What are the Biggest Warning Signs of Emails that May Want to Steal Your Identity?
Internet phishing is a growing threat for billions of email users daily. It seems like there is always a web scammer trying to access your information every time you read an email. The reality is that it’s incredibly simple to get the average person to open an email with an intriguing email topic. Even some of these emails can sneak past spam filters.
However, these email fraudsters are not such a smart breed. There are some signs that indicate an email is a possible attempt to access and steal your personal information.
Emails that pose as your bank, credit card company, or other financial entity.
If you do any business with a bank, credit union, or a credit card company, chances are your information is considered to be secure and private due to regulations. This means your bank or financial institution won’t be sending you emails asking you to log into your account at any time. Even if the email looks legit, it’s not. So don’t click on anything or respond.
Emails with your name or a variation of your name as the sender.
If you look through your emails, you may find some that appear to be sent by you, or another variation of your name or a family member’s name. This is because email scammers comb through social networks and use special software to generate countless fake email addresses to trick you.
Fake branded emails that ask you to click on a link to access your accounts.
Any email that asks you to click through a special account link that then prompts you to sign into a secure account is a phishing scheme. Instead, go to the website in a new browser, log into your account, and change your account credentials because your information may be compromised. Report this email to your account security team.
Emails that appear to come from law enforcement or the government.
Do you really think that a government or law enforcement agents are going to email you if they want to get in touch? Stick to common sense and report these emails as scams, because they are.
Emails with direct offers for a job or employment opportunity.
No company is going to send you an email offering you a job or some other type of career opportunity through a single email. Be especially careful with these types of emails if you are on a job search or have your resume posted on career directories. If in doubt, call the actual company and speak to a live person to verify the information.
Emails that ask for any of your personal information or money in any form.
Let’s not point out the obvious, but some people actually fall for this bold move by email scammers. If someone asks you to give them your home address, date of birth, social security number, bank account information, or goes as far as asking for money – run, don’t walk!
Emails that sound too good to be true (quick riches, inheritance, etc.)
Anyone who has an email has gotten a few of these. The “a relative in [insert country] has died and left you a large sum of money, but we need your bank account information” email. This is the oldest trick in the book. Mark these emails as spam.
The best course of action if you receive an email that you believe to be from scam is to report it. Let your email administrator know by marking the email as spam. Then let the authorities know. The Federal Bureau of Investigation has a dedicated website for this very purpose.
About The Author: Michael Klein has been writing articles about email marketing for companies such as Reachmail for more than 5 years. When not writing, Michael loves to play golf and tennis, or simply spend time with his family at home.