How to Identify a Phishing Email
Phishing sounds like fishing and might sound like fun, but it’s not when you are the fish. The term refers to a technique of baiting unsuspecting victims into divulging their personal information that can be used to steal from them.
There are several ways this can be done. However, I’m going to focus on phishing through email.
Recently, I’ve been receiving phishing emails supposedly from ANZ Bank in Papua New Guinea (ANZ PNG). It is obvious that the emails are a scam but it’s easy for me to identify it because I have been around this kind of stuff for all my working life.
In this post, I will share some pointers for you to help you identify a scam or phishing email.
There are several clear indicators with scams or phishing emails. If you receive an email that falls under any of these then be wary.
- Unsolicited Emails. Most times phishers will test the waters by sending emails like the one from ANZ. If you reply, then they know there’s something at the end of the line. In my case, they are sending emails from a bank that I don’t have an account with.
- Incorrect Sender Email Address. Another indicator is the sender’s email. The email allegedly coming from ANZ had the address firstname.lastname@example.org – an address localised to Indonesia.
- Attachments. It is highly unusual for banks to send attachments. For security reasons, many banks don’t send attachment. Their emails would usually be advisory, and would refer clients to the nearest branches.
- Personal Information. Organizations will never ask for your personal information through an email.
If you believe that prevention is better than cure, then avoid a phisher’s bait at all costs. You can do that by deleting any emails that seem suspicious. This is probably the most important thing you can do.
The next thing would be to advice the bank. Most banks have an email address or telephone number that you can call to report any such attack.
If you are interested in cyber-security, then I’ve published a couple of other posts on Hubpages that might interest you:
Stay Away, Safe Safe
The best way to stay safe is to ignore any phishing emails. If you try to troll them, I know some would love to do that as revenge, it would only acknowledge to them that there is someone at the end of the line – a possible target.
If I have missed out anything that you believe could be helpful, please leave a comment.