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Spot The Telltale Signs Of A Phishing Scam

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Summary

There are some simple things to look out for that might mean an email is not genuine

3 min read

New research by UK Finance has found that one in 10 British consumers would respond to an email asking them to update their personal information, even if they were unsure whether it was genuine. But if they took the time to look closely, it might be possible to spot the telltale signs of a scam.

Coutts is taking part in the Spot Something Phishy campaign with UK Finance, who have partnered with HMRC and Microsoft, to educate people about the dangers of email scams and how to protect themselves. ‘Phishing’ describes attempts to obtain sensitive information, such as usernames, passwords and credit card details, using dishonest electronic communications.

Many people still don’t take the threat seriously enough. The research found that a fifth of adults think it would ‘probably be fine’ to open unsolicited emails that appear to be from their bank or a company that they have dealt with in the past. And seven out of every 10 people would open emails offering refunds or great deals.

“Coutts is taking part in the Spot Something Phishy campaign, which aims to educate people about the dangers of email scams and how to protect themselves”

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But there are some simple things to look out for that might mean an email is not all that it seems:

  • Does it contain misspelled words?
  • Does the email use poor grammar?
  • Are email addresses correct?
  • Is the subject line too vague?
  • Do links to other pages look suspicious?

Spot Something Phishy is part of the wider Take Five campaign run by Financial Fraud Action UK in response to a rise in impersonation and deception scams and the increasing sophistication of online attacks such as data breaches and malware attacks.

While most people know how to protect themselves from financial fraud, they often panic in the heat of the moment and fail to take proper precautions. The campaign aims to remind people of the need to take five minutes and check what they are doing more carefully, to avoid falling victim to scammers.

Key Takeaways

Research has revealed that many consumers are still too trusting online and are easily duped by email scams. Even if they appear to come from companies you’ve dealt with in the past, emails asking you to update your details may not be genuine and those offering refunds or great deals should be treated with caution.

About Coutts Security

Your protection against fraud is our priority. We are committed to protecting your identity and your funds against fraud, and we work tirelessly to keep you informed of the issues you should be aware of in order to be vigilant.

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