6 ways to spot an email phishing scam

6 ways to spot an email phishing scam KOMO photo

Right now, scammers are flooding e-mail accounts with alerts that look like they're from legitimate companies.

The fake emails are known as phishing scams.

They have the identical logos as banks, computer companies and other major businesses, and you'd be shocked at how many people think they're legit- and give up their personal information.

Think of your email account as a fertile fishing ground for internet scammers looking to hook you with just the right line: " Final Warning!", "Account Alert", "Your account access has been locked".

But even the slickest scam emails have warning signs- once you know what to look for.

Here are 6 common red flags:

#1: Bad return email address.

Check the return email address very closely. Look for words and letters that don't make sense or don't match the name of the sender. Look extremely closely for subtle clues such as an underscore, a wrong letter, or a period between words that otherwise seem legit.

Example: OneDrive (correct brand) vs 0neDrive (imposter trick using a zero instead of an O)

#2: Bad spelling

#3: Poor grammar

#4: Excessive, unnecessary spacing between words

#5: A generic greeting that could easily apply to anyone, with reference to you directly

#6: Instructions to click on a link or open an attachment to "sign-in", "reset password", "verify account", or download information.

Anytime an unsolicited email directs you click on a link or open an attachment, for any reason, that's a sure sign it's time to hit the delete button.

When you click on links and open attachments in unsolicited phishing emails, you're not only sharing your information with scammers, you can also open the door for viruses and malware to infect your computer.

If you can spot the red flags of a phising scam- good for you. But there's a good chance that someone you know and care about would be easily fooled - so take some time to clue them in.

And remember- scammers wouldn't send phishing emails if they didn't work. According to one study, from the time an email scam is launched it only takes 82 seconds for the first person to bite.

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