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How to Prevent Email Scams

Introduction

The digital era has brought with it a surge in email scams. A report by IT News reveals that Australian organisations lodged 497 data breach notices in the latter half of 2022. A significant number of these breaches were due to email scams, including phishing scams and fake PayPal payment confirmation emails. This alarming trend highlights the need for understanding and implementing measures to prevent email scams. To prevent email scams impacting you organisation, Secure Konnect provide cyber awareness training to individuals and organisations to boost their maturity. This minimises the risk of staff clicking on malicious links. Secure Konnect also recommend end point protection and incident response planning so you are covered when a link is clicked.

Phishing Scams and Email Scams

§Phishing scams, a prevalent type of email scam, involve cybercriminals impersonating legitimate organisations to trick individuals into revealing sensitive information. These scams often take the form of a fake PayPal payment confirmation email or a geek squad scam, where the scammer poses as a tech support agent.

Don’t Trust Display Names

One common tactic used in phishing scams is the use of deceptive display names. Scammers often use display names that appear to be from reputable companies, but the actual email address may belong to a scammer. Always check the email address, not just the display name.

Beware of Urgency

Scammers often use urgent language to pressure their victims into taking action without thinking. Be wary of emails that demand immediate action, such as “Your account will be closed if you don’t respond right away.”

How to Report Phishing Emails

Reporting phishing emails is a crucial step in combating email scams. This not only protects you but also helps others who might fall victim to the same scam.

Look but Never Click on Links

If you suspect an email is a phishing attempt, never click on any links within the email. Report the email to ScamWatch. If the email is impersonating a specific company, such as PayPal, forward it directly to the company at phishing@paypal.com.

Protecting Yourself from Geek Squad Scams

Geek squad scams involve scammers pretending to be tech support agents from Best Buy’s Geek Squad. They may claim your computer has a virus and offer to fix it for a fee. Avoid clicking on any links and report to Scam Watch.

Personal Information Requests

Legitimate tech support agents will never contact you unsolicited or ask for personal information or payment over the phone or email. If you receive an unexpected call or email from someone claiming to be from Geek Squad, hang up or delete the email.

Spotting Fake PayPal Payment Confirmation Emails

PayPal refund scams and fake PayPal payment confirmation emails are common tactics used by cybercriminals. These scams trick individuals into thinking they’ve received a payment or refund when they haven’t.

To spot a fake PayPal payment confirmation email, look for signs of phishing, such as poor grammar and spelling, generic greetings, and a suspicious email address. Always log into your PayPal account directly through the official website to verify any transactions, rather than clicking on links in an email.

Conclusion

With the rise in email scams, vigilance and knowledge are key. By understanding common types of scams, knowing how to report phishing emails, and recognising the signs of a scam, you can safeguard yourself and your data. Remember, prevention is always better than cure when it comes to email scams.

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