How to spot a scam email
Fraudsters are increasingly targeting victims through scam emails purporting to be from your bank. Moneywise TV reveals how you can stay safe from even the most sophisticated scam email.
It used to be that a conman had to knock on your door to rip you off. Today, there's a much easier way of targeting you - an email straight to your inbox.
The most common type of email scam is 'phishing'. This is an email from a fraudster masquerading as an organisation like your bank. They'll ask you to log on, confirm account details and passwords and then use these to plunder your account.
So how can you spot a phishing email? The biggest giveaway is the content. Your bank will never contact you by email to confirm confidential information. Someone who isn't your bank is highly unlikely to know your name so might address you as 'a client' or 'valued customer'. Some emails are more convincing than others - look out for spelling errors and poor grammar.
You may also find offers to work from home in your inbox. If they promise lots of money for little work be on your guard. You'll either need to pay money up front or find it's commission only. Genuine work from home schemes will tell you exactly what you need to do and how and when you'll be paid.
Winning a lottery is a dream, but ignore any email claiming you've won a guaranteed prize. You'll have to pay a fee to claim your so-called winnings and may have to call a premium rate number and provide financial information.
More sinister is the Trojan scam. These are emails that install viruses in your computer by getting you to follow links to malicious websites. Watch for any messages that attempt to alarm you – saying your credit card has been charged for example - or those offering dramatic information such as news on terrorist attacks.
These are some of the most common scams but the list is endless. Protect yourself by being vigilant of unsolicited email and install quality anti-virus software on your computer and keep it up to date. And remember the old adage, if it looks too good to be true, it usually is.