How to spot a suspicious email or text
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Clicking a link in an email or text that isn’t what it appears to be could cost you or your business time and money. Fraud tactics are becoming increasingly sophisticated, and according to the FBI’s annual Internet Crime Report, cyber crime accounts for billions of dollars of losses to businesses and individuals each year. Use these tips to keep your information safe.
Know the red flags
Phishing attacks, typically communications that attempt to lure individuals into providing personal information, can be difficult to distinguish from legitimate emails. However, there are a number of clues. For instance, be wary of:
Subject lines that demand urgent or immediate action
Odd or unfamiliar senders
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If you receive a suspicious email:
Do not click on any links, reply to the message or download any attachments.
Even if the link looks legitimate, it could be a phishing link in disguise. Always go to a company’s website by entering its correct URL directly in your browser or using their official app if one is available.
If you are a Bank of America customer, forward the email to email@example.com and then delete the email. You will only receive a reply if additional information is required.
Stay vigilant against phishing attacks
Email scammers change their tactics regularly. Your best defense is to be on the lookout at all times. You can also protect yourself by following a few online and mobile security best practices, such as using strong passcodes and making sure your devices have the latest security patches.
Other social engineering attacks to know about
Smishing: Utilizes SMS and messaging apps instead of email. Avoid clicking links or responding.
Vishing: A cyber criminal impersonates a trusted source or utilizes tactics such as robocalls. Avoid sharing information, especially if you didn’t initiate the call.
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