Senders of malicious emails are getting craftier by the day. What used to be a simple offer to receive your entitlement of millions of dollars from a long, lost relative has now evolved into cleverly styled emails that represent organisations we regularly deal with.
The image below show a snippet of an email I received this morning. I use PayPal for online purchasing, so a casual glance would assume the email to be genuine. However, closer inspection reveals a number of issues that directly point to this email being malicious.
- There are spelling and grammatical errors – PayPal would not send email riddled with errors.
- The URL requesting me to Update is not linked to PayPal – holding my mouse over the URL reveals the true source – some website in Italy.
- The Sender’s name is PayPal, but the email address is completely unrelated.
So don’t be tricked by emails pretending to be from someone else. With some basics checks, you can make sure you aren’t a victim. Here are our basic tips:
- Keep your Virus Protection up to date.
- Do not open (click on)
- Links that show alternate URLs.
- Attachments (especially ZIP files) from senders you do not know.
- Ask someone for a second opinion on an email.