Protecting yourself from email scams. The art of being sceptic.

With more people working out of the office, email scams are on the rise. Learning how to spot a fake can be your best defence. We’ve put together some examples of what to look for to help avoid becoming a victim.

Always check the email address, not just the sender display name

One of the more common types of scams involves messages that, at first glance, appear to be from a recognisable name. Scammers might pretend to be from a large well-known company, or they might claim to be someone you know and work with regularly.

Sometimes, the sender will include logos and mimic company branding to make the email appear authentic. Make it a habit to always check the full email address before following any links or opening attachments. If in doubt, call or email your IT support team.

Other times they may claim to be someone you know and ask them to purchase gift cards on their behalf. Checking the full email address, not just the display name. If in doubt, call this person directly via your usual methods or your IT Support team.

Always check links before clicking

Emails are a great way of sharing information and links to websites. Unfortunately, scammers will use this to their advantage and often send an email that looks authentic. Before clicking on any links, hold your mouse cursor over the link and check the destination. If it doesn’t link to the expected domain, it’s most likely a scam.

Additional warning signs to look out for

  • Check the grammar and language used. Most large companies will carefully edit and proof their emails before sending. If there are obvious spelling or grammar errors, it’s worth questioning the authenticity of this email. If in doubt, call the company from their publicly listed phone number (visit their website or view a previous invoice), not the one listed on the suspicious email.

  • Scam emails will often try to create a sense of panic by requiring “Urgent Action”. Call the company directly to validate the legitimacy of the email is an excellent way of protecting you from becoming a victim

Still not sure?

Here's a handy video we found on YouTube from Ecourse Review that gives some useful interactive examples of how to spot a scam.