How to spot email scams

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Can you spot a fraudulent email?

Email fraud is becoming more sophisticated and effective—nearly half of all attempts are partially successful.

Source: Google/University of California, San Diego, 2014

Email red flags:

  • Demand urgent or immediate action
  • Are from odd or unfamiliar senders

If you open it:

The body of a phishing or fraudulent email can be full of clues.

Subject: URGENT REQUEST

From: MyBank

Attachment.doc

  • Has an attachment. Service messages, marketing outreach and alerts should not.

Dear Customer,

  • Doesn’t use your name.

We suspect an unauthorised transaction on your account. To ensure that your account is not compromised, please click the link below and confirm your identity.

  • Has misspelled words, UK spellings or awkward word choices.
  • Asks you to verify your information.

Our records indicate that your account was overcharged. Do not call us, to receive your refund, you must click on the link below ASAP.

  • Tells you not to call.

(Link: http://mybank.co.za/1233)

  • Includes unusual URLs or one that appears to be altered.

If you’re a Bank of America customer, legitimate emails related to your accounts display your log-in date and the last 4 digits of the account in question.

If you’re suspicious of an email:

  • Do not click on any links, reply to the message or download any items.
  • Forward the email to spam@uce.gov (Bank of America customers can send to abuse@bankofamerica.com)—and then delete it.

Stay vigilant—email scammers change their tactics regularly. Your best shield against phishing attacks is to be on the lookout at all times. Bank of America is always working to help protect you online (Link: https://www.bankofamerica.com/privacy/online-mobile-banking-privacy/online-banking-security.go).

Bank of America customers can download IBM’s Trusteer Rapport (Link: https://www.bankofamerica.com/privacy/online-mobile-banking-privacy/trusteer-rapport.go) for an added layer of protection against online fraud.

Close Disclaimer
The material provided on this website is for informational use only and is not intended for financial or investment advice. Bank of America and/or its affiliates, and Khan Academy, assume no liability for any loss or damage resulting from one’s reliance on the material provided. Please also note that such material is not updated regularly and that some of the information may not therefore be current. Consult with your own financial professional when making decisions regarding your financial or investment options.

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