Email Scams and Spoofing

Protect Yourself from Email Scams and Spoofing: Look for Red Flags and Take Simple Precautions

We recently posted on Social Media about the latest email scam making the rounds. For those posts, we were letting you know that scammers were trying to imitate a notification from Microsoft® about “unusual Office 365 Mailbox sign-in activity.” To detect the scam, we suggested that you look at the following red flags:

  1. The domain associated with the sender’s email address didn’t match a Microsoft domain. That’s a red flag. This email is likely spam.
  2. When moused over, the pop-up that appeared for the text links in the body of the email did not have a URL associated with a Microsoft domain—neither did the button. That’s another red flag indicating the email is likely spam.

These tips are a quick way to check out of the legitimacy of any email. The reason it’s so important to check out both the sender information and the link URLs is because of spoofing.

Email scams and spoofing

What is spoofing?

Email spoofing means the scammer sent the message using forged header information including the sender email address. Spoofing makes it easier for you to fall victim to the scam. If you recognize the sender as a friend, colleague, or company with which you do business, you’re more likely to click a link in the body of the email or download an attachment.

That’s why the safest option is to never login to any account from an email you didn’t request. Examples of requested emails would be for a password reset or to verify your email address when you register for a new account. Otherwise, be very skeptical of emails asking you to login using the link provided. It always better to navigate to the site in question on your own. Then, login to see if there is an issue or to reach out to customer support.

Caution should always be used, as well, when downloading email attachments that you weren’t expecting. When in doubt, reach out to the sender using your own contact information for them (i.e. don’t reply to the email). Only after you’ve confirmed the author should you open or save the attachment to your computer.

Taking an extra few minutes to confirm the validity of the email could save you hours of downtime and frustration should the email turn out to be a scam.

Need help?

If you’re unsure what to do, contact QualityIP. Our experts can help you determine if the email is a scam or not. We also will report it to the proper authorities to alert them to the newest techniques the scammers are using.

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