Phishing emails normally contain a link that takes the user to a bogus website. The user is then asked to enter personal data. Phishing emails can also include file attachments containing, for example, software that spies on the user.
The dangers posed by phishing: Often there is an attempt to appeal to certain emotional basic instincts, for example where the recipients are told that they must reply very urgently or they are misled into thinking that their computer or bank account is at risk.
In order to identify phishing emails early you should therefore look out for the following:
Who is the sender
Look at the link
Examine the email very carefully
Are there any discrepancies in terms of content?
- Consider if there was anything at all which could have prompted the email you have received, e.g. if you are told that you have won a prize in a competition.
- Personal data are requested: This is always a warning sign. No company, bank or any other genuine service provider would send you an email asking for information such as your login details, passwords or credit card data.
You are asked to transfer money
- If you do not know the process, sender or the person in question, it is probably a phishing attempt.
- Even if you do know the sender, you still need to be careful as it could be a spear phishing email where the fraudster is pretending to be a known contact. In this case, use the existing contact details you already have for the sender to get in touch with them by telephone and confirm the validity of the email.