Malicious emails: 7 tips to recognize them
Updated at: Oct 01, 2019
If you are annoyed with your email box, you may feel better after reading this: everyone gets spam. It is inevitable since no system is perfect. Yes, unfortunately, this means that invariably a scam message will slip into your inbox. Do not get mad because of that. Just take precautions, make the right choices and smile.
For businesses, the scenario is even worse. Can you imagine what a click on a simple link or attachment might cause? It is no exaggeration to say that financial and intellectual losses could be astronomical.
But how can you detect if that email in your inbox is a valid or a malicious one?
1. The sender's address is wrong or suspicious.
Check if the sender's address is correct. Cybercriminals deceive you through the little things, the details. Sometimes it is just one letter that makes the difference and what should be email@example.com becomes firstname.lastname@example.org.
2. Links and call-to-action buttons can be dangerous.
Never click on a link or call-to-action button immediately. When you hover over them (without clicking), take a look and examine the address that appears at the bottom of your browser. Make sure this address looks real and authentic. If they are different or if you do not recognize the address, do not click.
3. Attachments can be even more dangerous.
It is strictly forbidden (yes, forbidden) to open immediately an attachment that you were not expecting. If it is from someone unknown to you, delete the email. Do not think twice. If it is from someone you know or an organization that you do business with, you need to check the email before opening the file. If necessary, contact the sender to confirm that the email is legitimate.
4. Spelling and grammar errors indicate frauds.
This is a quick tip. Be wary of emails that are full of misspellings or grammar errors. Probably, someone from a country other than yours is trying to lure and then take advantage of you and your organization in a negative way.
5. Miraculous and super lucrative offerings do not exist.
If you receive an email with promises of big profits and little investment, sorry to say that, but it is probably not true. The web is full of scams about inheritances, lottery prizes and great investments. Beware!
6. Pay attention to how people you know write.
Accounts can be hacked and signatures can be mimicked. So, you should be wary of emails that do not look like the emails you usually receive from a particular person, such as your bank account manager. Pay attention to the way the email was written and the signature.
7. Be wary of urgent emails and sensitive information requests.
Just think about it: if an issue is urgent and has top priority, it is usually solved in person or by phone. Do not believe every email you receive with the subject ASAP (As Soon As Possible) or that requires you to share important data. Those are a sign of fraud.