Don’t fall for phishing emails

Don’t fall for phishing emails

Let’s face it: we’ve all got too much email. When you’re sifting through the junk from Ulta you signed up for to get a discount so you can find that email you actually need right now, it can be too easy to fall for scams.

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The most popular type of scam is a phishing email, which try to convince you to click on a link and give the scammers your account info. If you do this, they can steal your account – whether it’s your Gmail or your Netflix, or even your bank.

Today, we’ll talk about a few ways to spot phishing emails and protect yourself.

Obvious Scams

The most obvious phishing emails have very poor grammar, and it’s clear that the senders didn’t put a lot of effort into targeting them. Here’s an example I received, and below it is a list of what made me think it was spam:

  • The sender and subject make no sense together: Rackspace is an email company, but Chase is a bank! Why would an email company be sending me an email about a Chase account?
  • In the first paragraph, they forgot to capitalize the r in Rackspace, misrepresenting their own brand.
  • Throughout the entire email there are grammatical and typographical errors For example, a missing space in “access.Some”
  • It’s not clear what’s happened to my account: Phishing emails often use language like this to make you so concerned you don’t think twice about clicking a link.

To summarize, the lowest level of these scams will not make sense if you stop and read through them. Try reading it out loud and see if it seems coherent to you. Is it something you’d expect a professional company to send out? Does it look like emails you’ve seen from them before?

Don’t Click Links

In the sample phishing email, it looks like they put effort into one thing: making the link look legitimate. When creating a link, you can make it look like anything you want! In this case, the scammers had taken over a site called and were using it for their own scam.

Don’t click links in emails. Some phishing campaigns are much more well-executed. The emails really do look like they come from the supposed sender. They can be harder to spot, but there’s one way to keep yourself safe here: If you get an email from your bank, PayPal, Gmail, Netflix, etc, about an account issue it’s best to go directly to the website itself. You’ll likely see a giant banner saying that you need to change your password, or your credit card expired, or whatever the issue was.

Help, I clicked a phishing email!

If you just clicked a link and closed the window without entering your information, take a breath. You’re probably fine! It’s still a good idea to run an antivirus scan on your computer, though.

If you submitted your information in response to a phishing email, go to the real website of the company and change your password immediately. Check your account info to make sure your name and email address are still correct, as this is something scammers will try to change quickly as they take over your account. If it’s an account with financial information, be sure to check your bank statements periodically over the next few weeks, too.

If you used the same email and password on any other accounts, go change them immediately! The scammers will take what you’ve sent them and try it on all the popular websites. The best password hygiene is to use a different password on every website.

Stay safe out there!

Phishing emails are very common, but with a little patience you can avoid them and keep your account info safe.