I don’t get scam emails very often, thankfully, and phonecalls are even more rare. But when I do, or when I become aware of any particularly significant scams, I try to post about them to make people aware.
The scams I’ve written about so far relate to:
I’ve also posted a video looking at a few of the earliest scam emails I posted about.
Here are some common warning signs to look for in scam emails. If you see any of these, even if it’s just one, then be extremely careful. If you’re unsure, go to the real company’s website yourself via your bookmarks or Google and contact them that way to query it.
- A “From” address that is clearly unrelated to the company.
- A “To” address that isn’t yours. If you can’t see your address, then you’re on a blind copy list to multiple people, so the email clearly isn’t just for you.
- A salutation that doesn’t address you by name e.g. “Dear Customer”. Again proves that it isn’t personal.
- Grammar & spelling errors, even if they’re occasional small ones.
- Dodgy link addresses. Never click a link in a suspicious email. Just hover your mouse over it to examine the address. Look for the first single forward slash (/), as whatever comes just before it is where it’s really going. Anything after it is irrelevant.
Here are some tips when it comes to unsolicited phonecalls:
- Your bank will NEVER ask for your card details, PIN number, etc. They don’t need it, they already have it. Anybody asking for this is guaranteed to be fake.
- Bank scammers may also tell you put the phone down and ring the bank yourself to check they’re real. However, they will NOT hang up when you do, so when you pick up again and dial, they’ll just pretend to be the bank. So instead, use your mobile to ring the bank separately, and make sure it’s a number you’ve looked up online or on your bank statements, NOT a number the scammer has given you.
- If an unexpected tech support person calls, claiming they’ve noticed something wrong with your computer, it’s a common scam. Don’t give them access to your PC.
- If an unfamiliar company calls to offer you a service, don’t take it. Even if they claim to be a company you DO know, don’t sign up for anything unless you’re absolutely, perfectly sure that they’re legitimate, because anyone can ring and claim they’re from somewhere. If in ANY doubt, contact the company by email or social media, or a contact telephone number from their official website.