to Spot a Phishing Email Scam
As with many scams,
there are clear signals you should look for in determining whether it
is phishing attempt or if it really is an official email.
Who is the
email addressed to? As addressed to "Dear Valued Customer"
or "Dear [Company Name] Customer"? Because of the problems with
phishing, very few financial institutions will send out an e-mail that
is not personally addressed to you by your first and last name.
What are they
asking you to do? If they are ask you to click a link to log into
your account, chances are the URL is faked. This machines that the link
will look like the legitimate link you would use to access your account,
but if you roll over the length of your mouse, or look at the view source
(depending on the email client you use) you will see is actually sending
you to a completely different web site, usually an IP address.
Do you have
to respond within a certain about the time? Often, they will make
it sound as though you need to do something within the next 24 or 48 hours.
By conveying across a sense of urgency to you, the scammers hope that
you will respond immediately without thinking.
If you think you
may have fallen victim to a phishing scam, follow our tips What
to do if you have fallen victim to phishing.