When you receive an email that appears to be from your bank, Internet provider or any other service provider, it may be phishing. Phishing allows criminals to use your personal information for their own benefit or profit. That’s why it’s important to look for clues to identify whether the message is legitimate or a scam.
Look out for these details:
- A message from PenTeleData or most other reputable companies would not come from hotmail or another free email account.
- A logo can make the message look authentic, but anyone can copy and paste an image.
- Don't be fooled just because the sender uses your real name. The message can still be from a stranger across the street, across the country or around the world.
- An informational email will not ask you to respond. Phishers generally create a sense of urgency for you to reply.
- Click-on links can be misleading. In other words, they may not direct you to the website they appear to represent. A hyperlink is a word, group of words, or image that you can click on to jump to a new webpage, document or a new section within the current document. Unless these are clearly stated addresses (and even they can be deceiving), never click on a hyperlink.
- Misspelled words and grammatical errors are often an immediate tip-off that the message is likely a phishing attempt.
- No respectable organization or company will ask you for your social security number, account numbers, password, or date of birth in an email.
- If the message does not contain alternate contact information, such as a telephone number, that matches your credit card or billing statement, it is likely a scam.
- The URL should match any links in the email. They should reference the same domain name, without any misspellings.