How to Avoid Email Scams
By Luigi Oppido
With people’s home phones diminishing and less and less communications happening via phone calls, scammers have moved into the world of email. Email scamming is the easiest way for a thief to gain personal information about you without doing much work. There are multiple ways that email scams can come into your home, with or without your solicitation. We’re going to talk about some of the ways you can recognize those email scams and what to do about them when you think you’ve got one.
The first thing to understand is reading an email scam does not do anything to your computer or to your accounts. Reading text or opening an email and reading the contents of it without clicking on any software inside will not run anything malicious or cause any issues. Reading a scam email can actually be fun if you can recognize it. Some of them are quite silly. While you’re inside scam email and you think it’s a scam, here’s how to confirm. There are three main ways to do this.
The first way is to see whom the email is actually from. If you have a scam coming from a legitimate organization like Amazon or eBay, they will be from an email address that is recognizable like [email protected]ebay.com or [email protected] If you look at the email address at the very top of the email in the “from” section, and it has a lot of things that don’t make sense that aren’t straightforward like what is listed above, this is most likely not from the organization it says it is. But let’s move on and check the second item to confirm.
The second way we can check is to look at any links that are inside the email. Most malicious emails will want you to travel someplace outside the email so they can do more damage in an unsecured area. Kind of like sneaking away into an alley instead of standing in a shopping mall. Without clicking on the link, hover your mouse over the link and look in the bottom left-hand corner of your browser. If you hover your mouse over the link it will show you where the link travels to in the bottom left-hand corner of most browsers. If it does not take you someplace you recognize like Amazon or eBay or whatever organization has emailed you, this is most likely malicious and you should not click on it.
The third way is to simply look at the organization that is trying to email you like Amazon or Netflix and exit out of your email, open a new page, and travel to the website by typing in netflix.com or amazon.com. Sign into your account and see if you have any notifications pop up as soon as you have signed into the account. This is the most common way companies will communicate with their users. It will be a banner across the top or some obvious notification saying you need to do something inside your account. If you do not see this most likely the email is malicious and you should ignore it and delete it.
Email is the easiest way for people to get scammed. And email is also becoming one of the least trusted ways of communication. As long as you keep this in mind when you’re going through your emails you will be less likely and less susceptible to fall prey to scammers. Always keep your eyes open and be safe out there! The Internet is still the wild west!
Visit Luigi Oppido at 1824 Soquel Ave, Suite B. Call him at (831)464-2220. Email at PleasurePointComputers.com or visit his website at pleasurepointcomputers.com. Listen to his radio show every Tuesday 6pm – 7pm. on KSQD-FM (90.7) and KSQD.org