It’s not hard to believe you can spot a scam email, with all the talk about spelling mistakes, “too good to be true” offers, and weird web addresses floating around the web. But scammers have improved their approach, and come a very long way from their originally inept way.
Head of cyber-security firm Mailguard, Craig McDonald said: “It’s rare to see poor spelling and grammar now, because these scammers are using original logos and content and only using a small part to take you to their own URL.
“They know what people are looking out for. They’re doing what marketers are doing with A/B testing, sending two versions and seeing which one performs better.”
Earlier this year, Australian Netflix users were prompted to delete a “Membership on hold” email that directed users to a website that could dynamically change.
Once users signed in and filled in the empty boxes, the website would have a script that identified your financial institution based on the credit card number, and then accordingly ask for additional authentication by, for example, using “MasterCard SecureCode” or “Verify with Visa” boxes.
Cyber-security expert at ACMA, Bruce Matthews said: “If a particular bank asks for additional security information, it will determine that based on your credit card details and the form will change. It’s a very clever website.”
A simple and effective way to see whether a PayPal email is real is to remember that the company always addresses you by your full name. Scam emails often fake their way around this by saying “Dear PayPal member”.
Also, once could see the destination address by hovering their mouse over the link provided.
“If unsure, forward the suspicious email to [email protected] and we’ll let you know if it’s really coming from us or not,” PayPal says.
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