Here are a few tips that help you identify whether that email really came from your bank or is another attempt at defrauding you via a phishing email.
2. The links seem to be fake – Phishing emails always contain links that you are asked to click on. You should verify if the links are genuine. Here are a few things to look for when doing that:
- Spelling – Check for the misspellings in the URL. For example, if your bank’s web address is www.bankofamerica.com, a phishing scheme email could misspell it as www.bankofamarica.com or www.bankofamerica-verification.com
- Disguised URLs – Sometimes, URLs can be disguised…meaning, while they look genuine, they ultimately redirect you to some fraudulent site. You can recognize the actual URL upon a mouse-over, or by right clicking on the URL, and selecting the ‘copy hyperlink’ option and pasting the hyperlink on a notepad file. But, NEVER ever, paste the hyperlink directly into your web browser.
- URLs with ‘@’ signs – If you find a URL that has an ‘@’ sign, steer clear of it even if it seems genuine. Browsers ignore URL information that precedes @ sign. That means, the URL email@example.com will take you to mysite.net and not to any Bank of America page.
- Emails where the main message is in the form of an image, which, upon opening, takes you to the malicious URL.
- Another sign is an attachment. Never open attachments from unknown sources as they may contain viruses that can harm your computer and network.
- The message seems to urge you to do something immediately. Scammers often induce a sense of urgency in their emails and threaten you with consequences if you don’t respond. For example, threat of bank account closure if you don’t verify your ATM PIN or e-banking password.
It is vitally important that businesses make sure that their employees are trained to be able to identify phishing emails so that their sensitive data is not obtained, or worse. Rent-A-Nerd, Inc. offers cybersecurity training, which specifically includes secure “phishing emails” sent to all employees (the emails are safe, but are set up with some of the subtle signs that they are phishing emails) to track who is opening them, clicking the links, and more. Followup training is conducted on an ongoing basis to keep your business and its data as safe as possible. Call us to find out more. 504-301-1094.