Email scams

Scam emails can be very convincing and fraudsters have increasingly been trying to make them look more believable. They leave you vulnerable to identity theft, information theft, abuse of your computer and even financial loss. There are many ways scam emails are disguised and unfortunately, there is no single technique that works in every situation. However, here are some clues to help users spot them.

Poor spelling and grammar

Scam emails are often badly written, full of spelling mistakes and can seem disjointed when you read them. Legitimate emails will be proof read before issue and will be professionally written. If it does not look genuine and if the email does not address you by your name and you do not recognise the senders address, it may well be a bulk email scam sent to a number of people.

The message contains a mismatched web address

Most scam emails can appear valid. However, if you have received an email you were not expecting, it is worth hovering your mouse over any web addresses (URLs) in the email to see the actual hyperlinked address. If address is different from the address that is displayed on the URL, it could be likely that the message is malicious.

If the message in unrealistic

Some cyber criminals pose as someone else to get you to give out personal details. Recent common scam emails have been from fake relatives. For example, a relative you do not know about living abroad wants to give you money.

Asking for personal details

Some email scams can look identical to legitimate emails that you receive from banks or other organisations. However, always be aware that your bank or similar organisation, will never request personal details via email.

The 10 most common scam emails to look out for:

  • Foreign lottery
  • Online banking
  • Survey
  • Charity
  • Quiz
  • Bulk emails
  • Free goods/vouchers and discounts
  • Health and diet
  • Hijacked profile
  • Make money fast