How to Spot Phishing Scams: 5 Telltale Signs


Scams are prevalent in today’s business world and, unfortunately, are becoming increasingly common. You need employees who know how to spot phishing scams for your company’s security protection.  

Newer phishing scam attacks are being developed all the time, yet they typically share similarities that can be identified if you know what to look for. Many online sites will inform you of the most recent phishing attack tactics and the latest key identifiers. The sooner you understand and share the latest attack methods with regular security awareness training, the more likely you are to avoid a potential attack.

Here’s how to spot phishing scams before someone at your company becomes a victim.

1. Be Careful Around Unfamiliar Links

It’s good practice to avoid clicking unfamiliar links, especially those sent in emails from users outside your organization. Phishing attacks are pretty sophisticated. The scam’s destination URL could appear identical to a genuine site while setting up to record keystrokes or steal login or credit card information. 

You should always do that if you can go straight to the desired website through a search engine rather than clicking on a link. One easy way to check on a link is to hover your mouse over it to check the destination rather than just clicking.

2. If a Website Is Not Secure, Don’t Give Out Sensitive Information  

If the URL of the website does not begin with “https,” or you cannot see a closed padlock icon next to the URL, don’t give away sensitive information or download files from the site. Websites without security certificates may not be intended for phishing scams, but it is still better to be safe than sorry. To make it more challenging to spot phishing scams, website creators can mimic a company site and easily take money from innocent people.

3. Keep an Eye Out for Spelling Errors

Brands do a lot of business over email. Legitimate messages usually do not have major spelling mistakes or poor grammar. Read your emails carefully and report anything suspicious to your IT company to investigate.

4. Don’t Feel Threatened by a Subject Line

Beware of subject lines claiming your account has been suspended or asking you to act on urgent payment requests. This is a common phishing tactic to scare those who see the email into action. 

Phishing scammers not only create brands in the display name but also use brands in the header of email addresses and include them in the domain name of their website. Remember that the sender’s email address may not be just because it looks legitimate. Always verify the sender’s name, job title, and company in an email because it may not be who you think it is.

5. Investigate the Signature

If there is very little information under the signature, or it lacks detail, it’s smart to be curious about who sent it. Legitimate businesses always include contact information. Contact your IT Department to alert them of a potential scam.

BPI Can Help Prevent and Spot Phishing Scams

It is always a good idea to think about how to spot phishing scams and send any phishing concerns to your IT department. They have the tools to investigate and warn others in the company with appropriate action items, should it be necessary. If you need an IT company to help protect you and your company from phishing scams, contact us to book a meeting. Discover how we can help your company focus on what matters most: your productivity and profitability.

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Amanda Frietsch

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