Spam emails are nothing new. Your junk folder is routinely home to a handful at a time, and at this point, spam is more of an annoyance than anything else. And cyber criminals know it. Which is why today’s scam emails don’t always look like spam on the surface.
More and more, users are receiving emails from what appear to be legitimate senders, but with odd timing or information. These unexpected emails should be raising a red flag when you spot them in your inbox.
The scenario generally looks something like this:
You receive an email from Amazon, letting you know that there has been a delay with your recent order. The email helpfully provides a link you can click for tracking information. The problem is, you don’t remember placing an order with Amazon recently. This email could just as easily be from a financial institution advising you of a problem with your account, or from Facebook asking you to update your information, or even from a business associate asking you to verify or send sensitive information.
The one thing they all have in common? They’re fake.
Clicking on the link embedded in one of these emails will lead to your system being infected with something nasty, your data or identity being stolen, or the account tied to the company or institution the hacker is posing as being compromised.
The best way to protect yourself and your business from potentially dangerous consequences are to only proceed with caution. Instead of clicking the link provided, go the website directly in question to check your recent account activity, or call your bank using a contact number from their website, not the contact information included in the email.
Phishing scams continue to be a favorite method of hackers because they continue to have a high success rate. Taking an extra moment to re-read an email that feels just a little off, and double-checking the message’s legitimacy can save you from one tremendous headache.