Phishing emails becoming more sophisticated

Online fraudsters are continually thinking of more convincing ways to part us from our money, our identity … or both. 

For information and advice on spam and scam email, click here.

Take phishing emails, for example. The advice given by Get Safe Online and other experts on how to spot a phishing email used to include being wary of emails that didn’t address you by name, or otherwise appeared completely random. Recently, however, fraudsters have found ways to make their emails more convincing, examples including posing as from real companies signed by their real employees, real companies who you’ve actually done business with, and even those which address you by name.

Emails that exploit business and social trends have also become more prevalent, such as those impersonating reputable courier firms in these days when online shopping has become so popular. Similarly, there’s also the current Apple text scam, relying on the fact that a large number of recipients will have had some kind of recent dealings via their Apple account.

Just this morning, our Content Director received the scam email pictured here, claiming to be from Skype and including a Skype name ‘live:tim_1765’. Our Content Director’s name is Tim and he does indeed have a Skype account, but ‘live:tim_1765’ isn’t his Skype name. But with so many online accounts and login details to remember, many users do not remember their Skype names without checking on the program or app … and it is this that is being exploited by the scammers.

Our advice is to not act in haste, but think twice before you act on unexpected emails, texts, posts, phone calls or letters. Ask yourself: would that organisation or person really send me this, asking for personal details. If in any doubt whatsoever, do not click on links or open attachments.

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