Protecting Yourself From Scam Emails

Email has become one of the most common ways to communicate and we now rely on it to stay in touch with the people and companies whom we trust. Non-profits have greatly benefitted from email as they now have a great platform they can use to communicate with dedicated supporters. Unfortunately there are untrustworthy people who pray on the good intentions of donors to steal money for their own gain or corrupt your computer with a virus. Scam emails, although rare, still exist and we at Auction Frogs have compiled a list of warning signs to help identify untrustworthy emails.

  1. Unknown Sender. Not recognizing the sender of an email is your first warning that something is not right. Emails are easily faked, so even if it looks like the email is coming from a corporate address if you don.t know the sender themselves the email may be a fake.
  2. Misspellings. Often times scam emails are written in other non-English speaking countries and a few things get lost in translation. If there are a good number of misspellings and grammatical errors that could be your next clue that the email is a fake.
  3. Phrasing. If the email contains phrases such as .forward to everyone you know. or .this is not a hoax. then it is very likely a hoax. Overuse of capitalization such as capitalizing several sentences and even paragraphs is also a common tactic used in scam emails, so watch out for this as well.
  4. Membership. If you did not sign up for a membership with the company or opt into the newsletter then that is another indication that it is not a legitimate email.
  5. Links. If there is a link in your email don.t click it right away. Hover over the link first to view the link.s URL, if it is going to a different site than it claims to (i.e. says it links to Amazon but doesn.t link to amazon.com) or if it is long and confusing then it may lead to a dangerous site. If you do click a link and your browser comes up with a warning indicating that it may be a phishing site do not continue onto the site.
  6. Passwords. Legitimate businesses will never ask for your password via email, so if you get an email asking for your password it is guaranteed to be a scam and you should delete it immediately.
  7. Confirm. You can check for your email on sites such as www.scamomatic.com, which documents well-known hoax emails. If you are unsure about a message you received you can visit one of these site or search for the message on Google to see if it has been identified as a scam email.
  8. Reconfirm. If you are still unsure about a message you received you can always call the company to confirm if they sent the email to you.

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