By now, many scams are easily identifiable and are easier to avoid. Examples of these might be unknown senders asking you to click a link or open a file, content seems unbelievable, such as winning a prize or a friend is stuck in an airport somewhere with no money – the list goes on.
However, sometimes, scamming attempts are a little more subtle and sophisticated and we need to be extra-sensitive and aware of the possibilities, especially when it comes to emails. An email is frequently the starting point of a scam.
- Do not reply to suspicious emails. Emails are the medium where many scamming attempts are started.
- Don’t ship before you receive payment unless you have an arrangement with a customer you know and trust.
- Be picky about who you’ll allow to pay you by wire transfer unless you know and trust the buyer.
- Don’t give your personal information to anyone you don’t know or to anyone who you suspect may have phished someone you do know.
- Be wary about general email domains such as Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail, etc.
- Be on the lookout for company names that try to imitate industry nomenclature, but when you search for them, are nowhere to be found.
- On the other hand, make sure that genuine company names, names of employees you have contact with, phone numbers, addresses, and even logos, have not been “phished”.
- If you do suspect phishing, check for clues, like spelling mistakes, style of writing, and the actual content of the email. The sender name may be one you are familiar with, but why does his writing seem so different to what you are used to seeing in his emails to you?
- Links and attachments are still being used by scammers. One tip that Microsoft gives for verifying links in emails, is to hover over the link and compare the actual link to the wording of the link as written in the email. It may be completely different.
- Do contact Used-Line with any security and safety issues that may be giving you cause for concern.