Do You Trust This Email?

Take a look at the screenshot below:

A fraudulent email from Chase bank, utilizing alarmist rhetoric

So you receive this email. Alarming, right? With all these horror stories about online fraud within the last few months, hearing about an unauthorized purchase is a legitimate worry these days. One billion stolen passwords is a lot! So it’s within reason that your password (or mine) may be somewhere within that data breach.

In a moment of urgency you may click through to find out what is happening with your bank account. But please:

Think before you click!

Many online fraudsters are now leveraging the very threat they pose to find more victims with their scam emails. By posing as a trusted figure, they will compose convincing emails formatted with the typical template of Chase Bank, for example.

And it isn’t that hard to do. All that’s required is a basic knowledge of HTML coding to mask their malicious link and present an official looking email. That, combined with a semi-convincing email address are all it takes to put together a successful phishing email.

Expose fraudulent links by mousing over to see where it is directing you

In the case of the email from “Chase” above, creating a false sense of urgency with alarmist subject lines, large sums of money and the right buzzwords, fraudsters are banking on you missing key details that would give away the fraudulent nature of the email, such as:

  • Generic salutations – “Dear User”
  • Unfamiliar email addresses – “”
  • Incorrect grammar/spelling – “…your in danger of account cancelation…”
  • Requests for a click through or personal info – “Please reply with your Username and Password”

All of the above are commonly present within a phishing email, and features you should constantly be on the lookout for. Since these emails can be very convincing at times, the best approach is to scrutinize each message in your inbox. Even if it is from someone that you know, there is always the chance that their own email has been compromised someone else.

And it doesn’t really matter if you use Chase Bank or not, because someone else does. Sent to thousands of users at a time, these cyber criminals only need one of their targets to bite their lure by clicking to achieve success. That’s where the term “phishing” comes from. That that point, a user will have granted them free access to their computers, in a sense.

At that point, the user triggers a download that contains malware capable of stealing your personal information. Just as there are a number of types of viruses that a person can suffer from, there are many varieties of malware that can be used against you and affect you in different ways.

In our next post, we’ll review what these types of malware are, how you can get infected by them, and how you can recognize them if they’re already present.

If you’re interested in learning more about malware and data theft, please attend one of our upcoming workshops on Online Fraud Prevention!

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