How many times have you received a mail from some UK lottery company saying that you have won a grand prize of a million dollar or so? And how many times have you received a mail claiming that the link in the mail leads to nude photo of any hottest celebrity? And how many times did you get a mail that claimed that a $100 or so has been deposited in your account, and to confirm which you need to follow the link given in the mail?
Best of all, how many times have you clicked on any such links? You have become victim of a phishing attack, even if you, innocently, clicked one single time on any such link. This is how millions and millions of people are victimized.
Read this article, and you will know how to spot a phishing mail the moment it hits your inbox. I will tell you about some of the telltale signs of a fraudulent mail. They are:
A subject line that promises impossible, or at least something improbable
Yes, this is what they say. How could you win a million dollar when you have not participated? And why your bank will deposit $100 or more cash in your account for nothing? Banks have not become saintly, and not planning to become anytime soon.
A phishing mail has one agenda: cater to the recipient’s sloth and greediness. They also attack your libido by promising to show you something you always desired to see.
A fake urgency
If you will not do it now, the world will come to an end, or at least this is what you are made to believe. Our mind naturally reacts to emergency situations. Marketers know that, con artists know that, and so does phishing mail senders. They know if they show that if you are not acting now the treasure they are promising will be gone. And guess what, many people give in to the temptation.
Genuine looking fake link
Well, the link send to you do not look fake. They look genuine, but are always fake. Do check the URL of the link text by pointing your mouse cursor to the link text and looking at the bottom right corner of your browser, where the actual links are shown on mouse over. Do not click before you look at it.
Even when you click the link, do not forget to cross check the address bar to find that the link in the address bar is the one you intended to be on.
Genuine looking fake from address
Every message comes from somewhere or other, and so does phishing mails. But a phishing mail does not show the actual sender’s e-mail ID, but it shows a fake mail id of a person from the company the mail pretend to be.
Check the full header of the mail to see where it actually came from.
Bomb in an attachment
Yes, they do have bombs. A virus bomb, or may be a trojon or a worm or a spyware or a keylogger bomb. Whatever they are, the goal of such bombs are to destroy your property, as is the goal of any bomb. Do not open any attachment, unless you are 100% sure that it is safe to open one.
Keep these things in mind, and you will never become a sitting duck to a phishing attack.