How To Avoid Email Scams

Every day our inboxes are inundated with legitimate emails from friends, family, coworkers, and a variety of subscriptions. But hiding in between all of them are criminals waiting to strike.

Masquerading as known merchants or work affiliates, fraudsters will try to dupe you into replying to their email or clicking on dangerous links. You may have one of these emails in your inbox right now. Perhaps you have received an email from a merchant where your name is spelled wrong or a bill that you have already paid. Your gut is telling you, something is wrong, and you may be right. Often these will turn out to be “phishing scams”.

Phishing scams are an attempt to obtain private information or gain access to your computer, phone, or accounts by sending a fake email or text that appears somewhat familiar. Here are some ways to recognize and avoid these types of scams:

  • Verify the sender. Ask yourself, are you expecting an email or a text from this person or merchant? Is their name spelled right? Is your name spelled right? If not, contact the sender directly through a known phone number or email to confirm the communication is legitimate. Otherwise, delete the email or text.
  • Use a SPAM filter. A program designed to detect unsolicited emails and prevent those messages from going into your inbox. If you don't see it, you can't open it.
  • Update your security software and operating systems regularly. It can be a pain to install software or system updates but those few minutes can be crucial to keeping your information safe.
  • Think before you click. Don't click on any suspicious attachments or links, especially if you don't recognize the sender. If you're on a computer, hover your cursor over the link to view the full URL. If it looks unfamiliar or has spelling errors, do not click the link and delete the email.

If you ever feel suspicious about a text or an email, take caution and follow these tips to help protect yourself from phishing scams.


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