Spotting bogus/dangerous emails

Below are some of the key steps to use when you receive an email:

1: The message contains a mismatched URL

One of the first things I recommend checking in a suspicious email message is the integrity of any email address used. Look for misspelling in the actual email address. For example, if you receive an email from sales@mcacdonalds.ie you should be able to see the spelling is not correct.

2: URLs/email address contains a misleading domain name

People who launch phishing scams often depend on their victims not knowing how the DNS naming structure for domains works.

In layman’s terms, this means that scammers will use email address such as aib.ireland.ie, the Ireland part is a clear indicator that the email is a scam as aib would own aib.ie not aib.ireland.ie

3: The message contains poor spelling and grammar

Whenever a large company sends out a message on behalf of the company as a whole, the message is usually reviewed for spelling, grammar, and legality, among other things. So if a message is filled with poor grammar or spelling mistakes, it probably did not come from a reputable source.

4: The message asks for personal information

No matter how official an email message might look, it’s always a bad sign if the message asks for personal information. Your bank doesn’t need you to send it your account number. It already knows what that is. Similarly, a reputable company should never send an email asking for your password, credit card number, or the answer to a security question.

5: The offer seems too good to be true

If you receive a message from someone unknown to you who is making big promises, the message is probably a scam.

6: You didn’t initiate the action

If you get a message informing you that you have won a contest you did not enter, you can bet that the message is a scam.

 7: You’re asked to send money to cover expenses

One tell-tale sign of a phishing email is that you will eventually be asked for money. You might not be hit up for cash in the initial message. But sooner or later, phishing artists will likely ask for money to cover expenses, taxes, fees, or something similar. If that happens, you can bet that it’s a scam.

9: The message appears to be from a government agency

Phishing artists who want to use intimidation don’t always pose as a bank. Sometimes they’ll send messages claiming to have come from revenue.ie or another government agency

10: Something just doesn’t look right

If you receive a message that seems suspicious, it’s usually in your best interest to avoid acting on the message.

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