Email scams and phishing scams by hackers are now so commonplace and so advanced that so many people don’t even know how to differentiate between the real emails and fraudulent emails.
Normally, we get tons of junk mails each day and in there are lots of emails scams and phishing scams just waiting to hit us but did you know that of recent, certain software has given hackers the ability to send emails directly to your inbox? These emails look exactly like the real deal. Frightening, right?
A slight adjustment in settings which requires the mailing server’s signature and these emails would be marked as important on entering your inbox on arrival. Unless you’ve got some really top-grade FBI training, there simply no way you can tell it is a scam.
The most popular email scams and phishing scams involve banks. Here you get emails with links to update or upgrade your bank details urgently to avoid some form of penalty, usually account closure.
About three months ago, in the United States which is home to the most advanced email scams and phishing scams, there was a very odd email scam being run by a group posing as Google. And then there is the social media type where you are invited to an odd social site for some reason and asked to enter your details.
Always, these email scams and phishing scams convey a sense of urgency and a bold link to a cloned site where all your personal information and even credit card billing information are demanded.
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The Difference Between Email Scams and Phishing Scams
There isn’t much of a difference actually. In fact, most people would say they are one and the same. Wikipedia defines phishing as the fraudulent attempt to obtain sensitive information such as passwords, usernames and credit card details (and, of course, money), often for malicious reasons, by hiding or disguising as a trustworthy entity in an electronic communication.
Sounds like those group of email scams you get in your inbox daily, right? Don’t be fooled. when it comes to Email Scams and Phishing Scams some servers have the ability to send out such emails at a rate of hundreds of thousands per minutes. The email that lands in your inbox was just one of so many original looking emails that went out to hundreds of thousands, probably millions, of people!
Case Study: The Netflix Email Scam and Phishing Scams
If you happen to check your email between Netflix binges and come across a message from the company saying your account is about to get suspended, don’t even try to open it—it’s certainly a scam. According to reports from Deadline, about 110 million Netflix subscribers have already been targeted with this phishing emails, asking them to update their personal/account information. *(Email Scams and Phishing Scams)
Mailguard, a US technology privacy company, notes that this new scam looks particularly original because the emails (with the subject line: “Your suspension notification”) are personalized to the recipient.
Once it’s opened, the message informs Netflix users that their billing information “has been invalidated and urges them to update their details on the website right away,” providing a link to do so. The victim is then taken to a perfectly fake Netflix landing page (that even includes images of shows such as The Crown and House of Cards) and there is asked to log in with his or her personal information, including bank account and credit card numbers.
How To Detect and Avoid Email Scams and Phishing Scams (Step 1)
According to Mailguard, nine out of ten cyber attacks are delivered through email scams and Phishing Scams. To avoid becoming a victim to any of these scams, the Mailguard advises people to “hover your mouse pointer over links within emails and check the name of the domain they’re pointing to.”
A link trying to send you off to a fake Netflix site can be masked with other words such as ‘www.netflix.com’but hovering your mouse pointer over the link will definitely display the true destination. In some case, this may not work due to the operating system of the device you are using, and so you may need to follow the second step as shown below.
How To Detect and Avoid Email Scams and Phishing Scams (Step 2)
- Position your mouse over the link and right click on it.
- In the window that opens, select the ‘copy link address’ opinion to copy the hidden link.
- Now, assuming you are using a PC running the Windows Operating System, open a program like Notepad or Microsoft Word and paste that copied link in.
- Check the pasted information carefully now. It should be the real destination of the link.
How To Detect and Avoid Email Scams and Phishing Scams
Now, if you followed either of the two steps outlined above to examine the test link I provided earlier in step one above you will see that the site it is really pointing to is not the real ‘www.netflix.com’ but this site ‘www.this-is-fraud.com‘ a site I just invented off-head and mask with an original looking link just seconds ago.
You may want to be careful now because the technology that is making your life better and more enjoyable is also empowering hackers to come after you with all kind of scam. Nine out of ten times, they will approach you with harmless looking emails that require all your personal information and once you give it, you are done.
Beware of Email scams and phishing scams. Not even the real companies being impersonated will compensate you for your losses.
As of the time of the publication, Netflix has made no public response to this issue of email scams and phishing scams rocking their subscribers, most of whom are being defrauded for thousands of dollars.