You’ve opened up the email that looks like it’s from your bank, but then it asks you what your bank account number is, what your social security number is, and where you keep your antique valuables…wait. Spoof emails are rampant in inboxes these days, causing people to give away their financial security, while also helping to make people even less likely to open up an important email when they need to. In order to dispel the rumors about spoof email and to let you know how to protect yourself, read on.
Is That Mail Actually Real?
The truth is that spoof emailers have gotten pretty good at disguising their work. These emails now look like they actually came from your bank or some other company. And you actually believe that you’re getting a legitimate email, even if you’re not. When you begin to read the email, it might even sound real and you think that you need to respond. But when you begin to look at what the email is saying to you, there are a few red flags that you need to consider:
* Misspellings – Even slight misspellings should not be anywhere in a professional document from a company.
* Asking for personal information – Emails that you’re not expecting that then ask you for personal information should be suspicious to you.
* Responses to questions you haven’t asked – If you get an email that says it’s responding to something you send to them, but you haven’t sent anything, you should be suspicious.
You will also want to look at the links that are in the email. Just scroll over them to see what the link is – without clicking on it. If the links don’t go to the actual site they should go to, then that’s definitely a spoof email.
How to Protect Yourself
Most of the time, when you get an email from a company, it will tell you that you need to go to the site for more information. When the mail asks you this, do not click on any of the links and just type in the actual site name in a new browser tab or window. From there, if the request is legitimate, you will be able to find it. If not, then you will know that you saved yourself from a spoof email. And if you’re still not sure, call the company to see if they send you anything. At the very least, they will then be informed that a spoof is going around and they can warn other people.
Spoof emails are being picked up by junk email filters more often today, but some legitimate emails might also get put into junk because of this new sensitivity. Instead, you need to learn how to be smarter with your mail in order to see what it contains and whether you need to take action, or just ignore it. Especially when it’s a bill.