Phishing emails are increasingly becoming more and more realistic and studies show that around 97% of people around the globe cannot identify the difference between a legitimate and a phishing email.
Phishing emails are used by fraudsters to encourage people to visit fake websites. They are normally created to look like they are from a secure company or brand you recognise and come with an important message to make you act on the email.
Examples could be:
“Your bank account details have been compromised”
“You are due for a tax rebate”
“You are entitled to a refund”
These emails tend to make you follow a link which will then lead you to a bogus website where you will be asked for confidential information like bank details, login details or anything else they can use to defraud you.
Alternatively, these emails could be used to encourage you to download an attachment to your computer or device. They claim that it is something useful to you, such as a tax rebate form, a discount coupon or a piece of security software- when in fact, it is a virus that contaminates your device with malware. This is used to steal personal details from your device or even to hold it to ransom until you pay them a fee.
Your email inbox will display who the email is from, however, there is no verification actually performed. The software has no way of knowing if an email is actually from where it says it is.
It is very important to make sure you look properly at the sender’s email address in the header/ column titled ‘from’, as this will help you to determine whether it is a scammer or not.
A lot of the time, fraudsters will sign up to free emailing accounts like Yahoo or Gmail and forge an address, normally adding the company name within it to make it look legitimate. An example of a forged address could be ‘Natwest@gmail.com” instead of ‘…@natwest.com’- large businesses don’t use public email services.
Another way that a fraudster could fool you with a fake email address is to buy a domain name.
This is a domain name:
Anyone can buy a domain name, but ‘natwest.com’ is owned by NatWest Bank so it is not available for anyone to buy.
However, someone could buy this domain name:
Being the owner of this domain name, they can create what is called a sub domain name. Like this:
They can put whatever they want, followed by a dot, in front of their domain name. Like this:
They can then send an email using this sub domain. Like this:
Unless ‘natwest.com’ is the domain, the email address is fake. These are very realistic and can easily fool a lot of people so it is important to look very carefully.
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Last updated: 06 November 2018 | © KIS Finance 2018 |