Phishing emails are scams that will try to trick you into giving out confidential information.
Sometimes phishing emails are hard to spot. They are designed to look like emails from trustworthy sources but are sent from fraudsters to steal personal information. It is important to know the signs of phishing emails to keep your information safe.
What to look out for
1. Mismatched URLs:
The email may contain a link to a website that looks genuine but isn't. You can usually tell if the link is going to direct you to a trustworthy website by hovering your mouse over the link. If the linked website address is different than the text displayed in the email, it is probably fraudulent and could link to a fake website.
(On an iPhone/iPad, tap and hold the link until a pop up box appears with options. Tap the link URL at the top of pop up.)
2. Poor spelling and grammar:
This is one of the most common signs of a malicious email. Companies will usually have their marketing emails reviewed before they're sent so if the email is full of spelling mistakes and poor grammar, it is most likely a scam.
3. Unbelievable offers:
"Congratulations! You've won!" Emails that contain exclusive offers that are too good to be true are usually scams. Emails congratulating you on a prize draw or competition you've won but never entered usually contain links to "claim your prize". These links will direct you to a fake website where you could be asked to give confidential information.
4. Sender's email address:
It's worth checking the sender's email address matches who they say they are.
5. Confidential questions:
You should be wary of any email that asks you to give out personal or confidential information no matter how realistic it looks. A legitimate email shouldn't ask you for security details like pin numbers, passwords or account details.
6. Dear Customer:
Any email that doesn't use your name and addresses you as 'customer' is a warning sign for a phishing scam. Scammers usually send thousands of phishing emails at a time so keep an eye out for generic greetings.
7. Requests to send money:
As a general rule, any email with requests to send money should be considered a scam. Scammers might ask you for money to cover expenses or fees in return for a service.
8. URGENT! IMPORTANT!:
You could receive an email to say 'your account will be closed' and scammers will try and make you panic and react quickly to send confidential information. These emails are usually made to look like they've been sent from your bank.
9. The message appears to be from a government agency:
These phishing emails claim to be from government departments or law enforcement agencies and are created to scare and pressure you into giving out confidential information.
10. Trust your instincts:
If you have any doubt about an email, look but don't click. Do not reply to any suspicious email.
If in doubt, always contact the company with a trusted phone number. Avoid calling a contact number from the email if you're suspicious.
Have you received a phishing email? You can report it directly to us.
We take your security very seriously, so if you ever receive an email claiming to be from us requesting any of this information, don't reply to it, don't follow any of the links and please report it to us straight away.
Phishing isn't the only way scammers can trick information out of you. It's important stay alert and take the right steps to protect yourself.