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5 ways to spot a fake email…

Fake, fake, fake, real!
Emails are turning into a game of duck, duck, goose.

As the world keeps on turning, technology advances and software continues to be developed in good and bad ways.

A nice example can be seen with snapchats new decision to bring their app Snapchat Lenses to Mac and PC. That’s right, you can now have the dog filter whilst on a Skype call with a client.

However, a bad example can be seen with the rise in fake emails and how advanced and deceiving they are becoming. With the increase of users passwords and personal details being shared in the body’s of emails, even going as far to blackmailing recipients with demands of payments through bitcoin.

Above is an prime example provided by UK Business Insider, granted the details are a bit more intense and scary. But the demands are the same, pay up or risk being publicly humiliated.

Cyber breeches are starting to dominate on an international scale. With Bleeping Computer reporting in July 2018 that over $50,000 was claimed in one week from this type of scam.

Fast forward to October and UK bank customers have lost £500 million to scams in the first half of 2018 – with the Express.co.uk detailing how companies posing as the DVLA are finding scamming success.

These scams have been getting more and more popular during 2018, and it doesn’t seem of stopping anytime soon. But we can ensure that the right information is being shared and the right steps can be taken before any bitcoin is deposited wrongly…

1. Check the sender

Step one is always the easiest. Check the sender and see if it’s a recognized sender using a legitimate  or appropriate domain. A quick check of the sender details you can at least eliminate the lazy hackers and scammers.

To check, just reveal the details of the sender using the ‘view more’ or ‘more details’ option at the top of your email provider.

2. Impersonal touches and grammar

Incredibly, during a state of shock and panic it’s easy to overlook whether the email is referring to any personal details. If the email says ‘Dear customer’ and doesn’t actually refer to your name, you can eliminate it actually being from a legitimate source.

It’s important to remember, that emails from banks, financial companies and insurers will always refer to yourself using your name.

It’s equally important to look at the grammar, formatting and general layout of the email too. If the email is blank and basic, then it wouldn’t have come from a genuine source. Equally, if the grammar seems weird or there are spelling mistakes, you can guarantee it’s not from an employee.

3. You can check if they are an actual company!

If you do receive an email from a person claiming to be a person from a third-party company working on behalf of a bank or insurance company. You can dig a little deeper and see if they are registered with Companies’ House.

Head on over to the Companies’ House company checker and see if they are a legitimate company.

4. NEVER click the attachments

Aside from receiving a bizarre looking email, the attachments are where the real danger lies.

When you are contacted by a company you are associated with, it’s very rare that they will ever attach any bills, documents or other information. Instead they will send a link through, prompting you to log into your account hosted with that company.

Why do scammers use attachments then? Commonly, the attachments contain malicious macros designed to unload on the recipient’s computer and then infest with a virus. So avoid opening any attachments, because as soon as you open the file the embedded virus will start spreading to the computer.

As a good rule of thumb, high risk attachments file types like .exe .scr .zip .com and .bat are typically virus packages.

5. Contact your IT expert

If you still are unsure on whether your computer could be infected, or your personal data could be at risk then don’t hesitate to contact your IT support or get in touch with an IT savvy friend. For example, our technicians are prepared to combat malicious emails and backup your files before anything is lost.

Equally we have the technology and protocol to protect your data with extra authentication and security checks.

Implementing these steps in future could save you hours or worry and panic.

If you want to find out any more information about excellence IT and the services we provide, feel free to contact us atinfo@excellence-it.com
or give us a call at 02920 887 362.

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