Phishing scams happen in the form of phishing emails. Phishing emails allow hackers to obtain users’ personal and/or account information. Once the hackers get this information, they can create new credentials or store malware in your device to steal more sensitive data.
These online criminals design legitimate-looking emails with links, which, when clicked, take the user to a page where they provide their sensitive information. Here’s how you can identify if an email is a phishing one or legitimate:
1. A Legitimate Email Won’t Request for Sensitive Information
A legitimate business, whether your bank or Walmart, won’t ask for your sensitive information via calls or emails. An unsolicited email will have a link that asks for your sensitive information.
2. A Phishing Email Won’t Call You By Your Name
Phishing emails don’t know the customer. So, they use generic words and phrases like “Dear Customer” or “Valued Member”. In contrast, the bank or organization you deal with will make your experience more personalized by stating your name.
3. Real Businesses Have Domain Emails
Legit businesses always go for domain emails. Don’t just check the email sender’s name; check their email address too — for example, email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org. There’s a difference between the two. A support email from Walmart will come with the address email@example.com and not firstname.lastname@example.org.
4. Phishing Emails Will Have Spelling Mistakes
The easiest way to recognize if an email is legit or a scam is by checking the grammar. A phishing email will have bad grammar. Hackers usually target uneducated or less observant people they know, who will easily give in to their traps. Thus, they don’t care if they write the email with bad grammar.
5. Legit Emails Don’t Have Unsolicited Attachments
If you ever find an email with an attachment link, please don’t click on it. If an email has .exe, .zip, .scr, or other attachments, it’s best not to download them. They contain malware giving way to hackers to hack your device and information.
It’s always best to stay safe while considering unsolicited emails. These tips will keep you safe from scammers and hackers.