Scammers want to get close to you this Valentine's Day. Phishing scams always rise during the holidays and Valentine’s Day is no exception. Valentine’s Day offers spammers and scammers the perfect opportunity to lure people into opening their wallets or giving away personal information under the deceptive guise of love.
Scammers will send massive email campaigns to dupe victims into handing over personal information. If you get a Valentine’s Day email from someone you don’t know, do not click on anything. Don’t follow the link. For instance, you may get an email asking you to confirm your recent order from a fake online florist. Organised cyber criminals send out thousands of emails to unsuspecting victims and create fake florist websites specifically for the purposes of phishing.
1. Does the sender name EXACTLY match other emails from the same party? If not, it could be packing malware.
2. If you're asked to reply with confidential data, be suspicious. A legitimate business will not ask for your username and/or password or to click a link to change your password.
3. The offer seems to good to be true. Remember that even if you know the sender, the sender’s address book could have been hijacked and used to disseminate phishing emails.
4. The email threatens you with dire consequences if you do not comply:
“Your computer has a virus” – This is a trick in email and website pop-up advertisements. You are asked to download a “security package” to combat the virus. Unfortunately, rogue security programs are one of the most common sources of malware infection. Ignore warnings about malware from any source except your verified antimalware program.
The email asks for “urgent” or “immediate” action, particularly involving financial transactions.. Confirm any such requests by telephone or, better yet, in person. Check with managers at your company before clicking on or replying to such emails.
5. An email contains an attachment that purports to be an order confirmation or receipt. Think: have you ordered anything from that company? If so, do past emails have the same format and look? It is better in general to access information on an official website than to click links in an email or download an email attachment.
7. The sender’s email address does not seem to match the contents - Does it make sense that an email from UPS would come from an address such as firstname.lastname@example.org? Probably not. How about from email@example.com? Notice the periods. This is not from UPS, it is from up.s. The "from" address in an email can be faked. Do not assume that if it comes from a known address that it is legitimate.
8. The wording of the email is awkward. – Does the content appear to be proper English (or whatever language it should be)?
To prevent these attacks, organisations need to remain vigilant and follow proven guidelines such as not clicking on links or attachments in unsolicited emails. To avoid becoming a victim of a phishing attack this valentines there are a few simple rules:
Use only trustworthy and reliable websites for online shopping and sending e-cards to your loved ones. Whatever your romantic status, don’t fall for these common traps that are sure to pop up this Valentine’s Day. Find out how TitanHQ can help you keep your employees safe from phishing and othe targeted attacks, contact us today.
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