Dan Benotto, PRI Director, Information Technology and Transformation shares these reminders:
Phishing is a popular form of cybercrime because of how effective it is. Cybercriminals have been successful in using emails, text messages, or direct messages, to get people to respond with their personal information. The best defense is awareness and knowing what to look for.
Here are some ways to recognize a phishing email:
- Urgent call to action or threats – Be suspicious of emails that claim you must click, call, or open an attachment immediately. Often, they’ll claim you have to act now to claim a reward or avoid a penalty. Creating a false sense of urgency is a common trick of phishing attacks and scams. They do that so that you won’t think about it too much or consult with a trusted advisor who may warn you.
- First-time or infrequent senders – While it’s not unusual to receive an email from someone for the first time, especially if they are outside your organization, this can be a sign of phishing. When you get an email from somebody you don’t recognize, or that Outlook identifies as a new sender, take a moment to examine it extra carefully before you proceed.
- Spelling and bad grammar – If an email message has obvious spelling or grammatical errors, it might be a scam.
- Generic greetings – An organization that works with you should know your name and these days it’s easy to personalize an email. If the email starts with a generic “Dear sir or madam” that’s a warning sign that it might not really be your bank or shopping site.
- Mismatched email domains – If the email claims to be from a reputable company, like Microsoft or your bank, but the email is being sent from another email domain like Gmail.com, or microsoftsupport.ru it’s probably a scam. Also, be watchful for very subtle misspellings of the legitimate domain name. Like micros0ft.com where the second “o” has been replaced by a 0, or rnicrosoft.com, where the “m” has been replaced by an “r” and an “n”.
- Suspicious links or unexpected attachments – If you suspect that an email message is a scam, don’t open any links or attachments that you see. Instead, hover your mouse over, but don’t click, the link to see if the address matches the link that was typed in the message.
If you suspect, you are a victim of a phishing email please report it to [email protected]