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Scam emails can be hard to identify, and a lot of people can fall victim to them if they are unaware of the different forms these emails can take. We’ve created this blog for you to understand the most common ways cyber-criminals will try to scam you using fake emails.

Email Scams

An email scam is a deceptive scheme carried out through email communication with the goal of defrauding individuals or organisations. These scams can take various forms and aim to trick recipients into providing personal information, money, or access to sensitive data. Email scams rely on social engineering tactics to deceive recipients. They may use urgency, fear, curiosity, or the promise of financial gain to manipulate individuals into taking actions that benefit the scammer.

Some common types of email scams include:

Scare tactic

Emails like this are designed to scare you into acting quickly without thinking of any consequences if you click on any links within the email. You will be told something along the lines of “your device has been hacked” or ” there is a virus on your account” and you may be instructed to either send the criminals money or login somewhere in which they will then steal all the details on your account. If you encounter this scenario, never act upon it; this means don’t click any links and delete the email immediately and if you feel like this is a cause for concern or you have accidentally clicked a link, contact your IT experts as quickly as possible.

Someone in need

You might get an email from a friend or family member telling you that they’re in trouble and need help. Cyber-criminals often create emails that appear as if they are coming from someone you trust, to scam you into handing over your bank details or sending them large amounts of money, with the promise that they will pay you back eventually. You don’t want to get caught out by these kind of scams as it could cost you. If you’re suspicious about an email or message like this, find an alternative way to contact this person and confirm with them that it is actually them asking you for money or your bank details.

Account problems

Cyber-criminals will fake notifications in the form of emails or direct messages to alert you that there’s a problem with an account you have with a trusted company. They may describe the problem as ‘someone has tried to break into your account, you must change your password’ or ‘you need to confirm something, please login to your account’ etc. If they succeed in getting you to click on a link in the email/message or login into your account, they will be able to steal your details. This all may result in them using your account for their own use or they may lock you out and demand something from you for the return of your account and details. Always check the information on messages and emails like these Is it the same email or phone number they always use? Is there a lot of spelling mistakes in the title and main body of writing? Is the branding the same? All of these can indicate that someone is trying to scam you out of your account details.

Employee impersonation

If cyber-criminals somehow obtain a colleague’s email address, they can impersonate this colleague. They will target colleagues with influence within an organisation, mainly the head of the company. They will contact other employees and depending on what the cyber-criminal wants, ask them to send them things such as passwords, private and sensitive client information, or the criminals will most likely try to contact an organisation’s financial team and ask for a sum of money. Emails like these can be very convincing, but if you think you could have possibly received one, but are unsure, ask yourself ‘is this how this person usually talks?’, ‘would they normally ask this of you?’. If you ever think you have received an email like this, double check with the person you think is contacting you, to ensure it is a genuine request.

What can Matrix do for you?

If you would like more information about these and other kinds of email scams, or you think that you have fallen victim to an email scam and need help from the IT experts, don’t hesitate to email us or call us on 01329 888444.

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