Online hoaxes are becoming more sophisticated, making it very difficult to identify whether an email, SMS or website is real and genuine. It’s important to learn how to identify a fake email so you and your business stay safer online. From scams to hoaxes and phishing emails: there are many different types of fraudulent emails out there. Let’s start by taking a look at how they are defined as well as ways to help you spot them and protect yourself from falling victim to these increasingly sophisticated internet scam tactics.
These type of fake email is disguised as communications from a trusted source, such as a bank or known affiliate like Booking.com. It may contain their branding or even replicate their common email format.
According to Technopedia an email hoax is: “a scam that is distributed in email form. It is designed to deceive and defraud email recipients, often for monetary gain.”
To convince the recipient that the email is from a trusted source, in order to obtain payment details or confidential information.
The people behind phishing emails are experts in manipulation. They will use urgency to convince you to open a deceptive link or attachment before you have time to consider the consequences. An example of this would be an email with the subject line “FINAL NOTICE – IMMEDIATE PAYMENT REQUIRED” containing minimal description and referring to an invoice attached. Without hesitation many will open the attachment to see which payment is overdue, but instead it allows software to be installed on your computer. This type of fake email may also include a link to a malicious website with the same outcome.
According to the Australian Cyber Security Centre, phishing is: “a way that cybercriminals steal confidential information, such as online banking logins, credit card details, business login credentials or passwords/passphrases, by sending fraudulent messages (sometimes called ‘lures’).
To use pressure and quick emotional responses to trick the recipient into making a payment, visiting a malicious website, or to open an attachment containing a virus or spyware.
Scam emails often include “too good to be true” offers, such as lottery wins, surprise inheritance and unsolicited job offers. People and businesses may also receive a fake email requesting payment for products or services they did not purchase. You’ve likely never heard from the sender before, but the email will try to imply a connection.
To use a false affiliation or unbelievable offer to trick you into giving them money. Often will try to encourage you to reply to the email.
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This article was originally posted on 24th June 2015 and has been re-published on January 17th 2021 with updated information.
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