Do you get email? Then you are getting email scams.
Hopefully this type of email is ending up in your junk or spam email folder, but just in case a few email scams are making their way into your main inbox, here are some tips to recognize and avoid them.
Technology, especially email, has increased our ability to communicate. Unfortunately, new technologies like email have also made you more likely to be targeted by the dishonest to get their hands on your sensitive information.
If you’ve been a victim of an email scam before, you’re not alone. These days, email scams are much more complicated than in the past, and unfortunately, they often look more real than your standard “Nigerian Prince” email.
Scammers now send emails that look like they’re from your bank, your life insurance or mortgage protection provider or other online accounts that you use. They catch your attention by using phrases meant to alarm you. These are commonly called ‘phishing’ scams (because they are ‘fishing’ for your information!), but if you follow our tips below, you’ll be able to keep from taking the bait.
1. Look Out For Spelling and Grammar Mistakes
Scam emails have become more and more real looking, so often it’s hard to tell at first glance whether they are legitimate. This is an obvious sign that the warning you just received from your life insurance company may be more than meets they eye.
- The first sign that an email may be a scam is the appearance that someone rushed through writing it and didn’t have a professional editor.
- Grammar mistakes, spelling errors and phrasing that a native English speaker wouldn’t normally use are all signs of an email scam.
2. Be Aware of Threatening Language
Customer service matters to your bank and life insurance company, but not to the person trying to get you to send them your personal information. Some things to remember:
- They’re trying to trick you into emailing them back with your personal information, so whatever they can say to make you panic increases their odds of success.
- Look out for wording like “You won! Reply within 5 days to claim your prize.” Or “Your account will be closed if you don’t reply.”
- These are all clever attempts to make you question your personal situation, leaving you open to email scams.
3. Never Send Money or Personal Information By Email
These scammers just want to catch you slipping one time, and then they will have your account information, social security number or even your identity. Make it a personal policy to NEVER send certain numbers via email.
- Your social security information, life insurance, bank account and credit card information can all be snatched by a scammer that knows what they’re doing. Never put this information in an email.
- Often a scammer will impersonate your bank. They will send you an email to alert you that there was an unauthorized attempt to access your account, and ask you to verify your password via email. This is the one scam people fall for without even thinking. Don’t ever email a password.
4. Never Respond or Click on Links
Sometimes clicking on a link in the email or even interacting with the sender can put you right in the sights of an email scam. Remember, don’t give the scammers any access to your information, in any way.
- Clicking on a link may seem harmless, but links and attachments can contain something called ‘malware,’ software that invades your personal privacy and skims your passwords right off your computer without your knowledge!
- Sending a response tells the scammer your email is valid. You should not even email them to tell them to stop emailing you. It will only make things worse!
The ‘Do Not Email List’ is a Lie
Don’t seek out a national ‘do not email’ list. There is not such thing. Any sites claiming to be one are just trying to scam you. For more information, read what’s posted at the FTC website.
Just because you think an email is from a scammer doesn’t mean you should ignore it completely. There are a few steps you can take to make sure the sender doesn’t prey on you or anyone else in the future.
- If you’ve gone down this list, but you’re still not sure if an email is legitimate, there are ways to know for sure. Look up the company’s contact information online or in a phone book, and call them to make sure they sent the email. It’s better to be safe than sorry!
- When you’re sure that someone is trying to scam you, forward the email to email@example.com and to the company that the scammer is trying to impersonate, whether it is a bank, your life insurance company, or some other source of your personal information.
- File a report with the Federal Trade Commission; it’s their jobs to look into harmful emails from unauthorized senders. Get the information at this site, report the email then delete it from your inbox.
Remember to always be aware of who is trying to communicate with you. Most reputable companies won’t ask you for personal information or schedule payments over an email conversation, and Asurea won’t either.
If you receive an unsolicited email requesting personal information and it appears to be from Asurea, asurea.com or has the Asurea logo, do not respond. Let us know immediately.
Asurea offers Life Insurance, Mortgage Protection Life Insurance, Medicare Supplement Insurance, Final Expense Insurance, Disability Insurance, Long-term Care Insurance, Retirement Planning products and more. For additional information, click on the ‘Learn more’ button below. Want to have articles just like this delivered to your inbox? Just enter your email address in the box below and click ‘Subscribe.’
This information is provided for general consumer educational purposes only and is not intended to provide legal, tax or investment advice.