How to Spot a Scam Email

What are the tell tale signs that an email is not what it is claiming to be?

You get an email from HSBC, BT, PayPal, BA, HMRC (and the list goes on) but how do you know when it is a scam. Below is a list of the things I look for:

  1. Is the email addressed to me?
    By that I mean, does my email address appear in the “To” field in the header of the email. Quite often you will see someone elses name or even a list of names. If it was for me it would only have my email address in the header.
  2. Do they use my name in the greeting?
    Usually if you receive an email from a company where you have an account, they will use your name in the greeting. So if it says “Hello user” instead of “Hello Ian Malyon”, then be aware.
  3. The English is sometimes very poor in these emails.
  4. If they are encouraging you to open an attachment – Be very aware.
    Alot of the scam emailsĀ at the moment contain a .zip file. DO NOT OPEN IT unless you are 1000% positive you know it is ok.
  5. Do not click on the link in the email.
    If there is a link in the email, you canĀ move your mouse pointer over the link and without clicking, you should see somewhere on the screen the ACTUAL ADDRESS that the link will take you to. So if the email looks like it is from BT and the link is actually pointing to “pretendbt.ru” then DO NOT CLICK ON THE LINK.