Recognizing Email Phishing Scams

Chances are you regularly get fake email claiming to be from companies that you do business with. However, these scam emails are trying to trick you into giving up your passwords and other information. It is important to be skeptical of every email message you receive and to learn to recognize the signs of phishing scams. Even email messages that seem to come from friends and relatives can be scams.

Comments: 14 Responses to “Recognizing Email Phishing Scams”

    Dave N
    4 years ago

    Gary, How can Contacts be accessed, giving these scammers my email address from a friend’s system, so I then get an email from my friend who does not know their contact DB was compromised ? In the past I have received msgs from friends advertising all sorts of stuff … It is clear that my address was gotten from the friend’s address book. Great info, thanks

      4 years ago

      They aren’t accessing the contacts in their Mac Contacts app. They are accessing the contacts list that many email systems (Yahoo, Gmail, Hotmail, etc) allow users to store online. Alternatively, they could simply be reading the To and From email addresses from their email archive stored in the server’s system, not the contacts at all.

    Siobhan
    4 years ago

    The big no no for me is when I am addressed as Client, etc. in the message part of the email.
    I have also asked Paypay directly and they wanted me to send it to them

    Harry Marks
    4 years ago

    I love getting the “distress” scams claiming they’re my grandson and stranded in an Italian jail. I play along with outpourings of sympathy before I tell them that I have no grandchildren. Never have had any.

    Helen
    4 years ago

    I go a step further with paypal scams. I forward the message to spoof@paypal.com . They contact me back letting me know it was indeed a scam and I hope that maybe by having the original it may help them trace the source. I also get messages that say UPS was trying to deliver a package to me and need me to click on a link. Anyone who knows UPS knows how ridiculous this one is.

    Shirley
    4 years ago

    Received emails: one from Apple asking to update my security questions, one from iTunes saying account is to expire in 3 days, and one from iCloud Customer Care telling me my email account had exceeded its limit and to “update here.” All were phony. Sometimes you can copy the email address and paste it into Safari’s address bar and it will tell you it is a “Possible Phishing Site.” All were reported by selecting the message and using the Message Menu to send to spam@icloud.con

    Kevin
    4 years ago

    Also the “contests” on social media sites that allegedy proclaim a trip to be given away. I think most people when they sign up use a commonly used password- that they commonly use and set them selves up for BIG trouble…If it’s too good to be true IT IS A SCAM!

    Robyn
    4 years ago

    Great video Gary…will pass it on to others.

    James
    4 years ago

    I can also take a cue from the writing-the punctuation (or lack of it), grammar and sometimes, spelling. Even in the example you showed there is stilted language and poor expression used. Sometimes being an English Major has its rewards. I received one that started with “You account is being close because of problems.”I laughed and deleted it.

    Gary
    4 years ago

    Gary, very good presentation especially the part about reading the web address from right to left.

    John Stires
    4 years ago

    Is it typically safe to ‘Unsubscribe’ from email newsletters that come out of nowhere? It seems a logical place for phishers to enter a bogus URL or something that might kick off a malware routine. Thanks.

      4 years ago

      If it is completely out of nowhere, and you’ve can’t think of any relationship with the sender, like signing up for a site or buying something from a related site, then just delete. Otherwise, if it looks legit, then using the unsubscribe is the proper thing to do.

    Michael Ehrman
    4 years ago

    The PayPal one also had another great hint within the email body. Verfiy vs verify. While yes, any legitimate company can do a typo, that type of letter/email is a canned response to accuracy as to grammar and spelling is almost guaranteed to be perfect.

    Wilma
    4 years ago

    Great overview, and it’s nice to know I’ve been reacting in the right way to these. Lately had a very authentic-looking phishing message purportedly coming from American Express, which is my primary credit card. A 30-second call to them gave me spoof@americanexpress.com to forward the message, which was a scam they already knew about.

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