What is a Phishing Email, and How do You Spot One?

We often get people asking or concerned about phishing emails.

If you’re worried about a scam or suspicious about an email at work, read on as we bring you some tell-tale signs of a phishing email…

What is a phishing email?

Phishing scams are fraudulent email messages which appear to come from legitimate sources (common ones include HMRC, Apple, Amazon and your bank).

The message usually tries to get you to give away personal information or directs you to a fake website. The perpetrators can then use your information to commit identity theft.

  1. Look closely at the email address

The email may claim to have come from Amazon but is the email address legitimate? One of the first signs that an email is a phishing scam is that the email address is suspicious or doesn’t match the company it’s claiming to come from. Click on the sender’s name and check it out.

  1. Look at the URL’s

If you have any doubts over a suspicious email – don’t click any links! Hover your mouse over the links in the message to see the real URL. Check whether it matches the website of the sender – is this a site you’d normally do business with?

  1. Spelling/grammatical errors

Spelling mistakes are also a big tell-tale sign that an email isn’t legitimate. It’s unlikely that a professional company would send out correspondence littered with errors.

  1. Missing email signature

If you receive an email from someone claiming to know you or have done business with you, take a look at their email signature. If it is lacking detail, then you’re right to be suspicious.

  1. Asking for personal information

One thing all phishing emails have in common? They’ll all ask you for some form of personal information. This could be your name, log in details, or even bank details. Never respond to an email asking for personal details.

If you’re concerned about phishing scams or cyber security in general, then please do not hesitate to get in touch with San-iT for advice and IT support.

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