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12 March 2014Protect Yourself Online
From: Liz Webster (Nottinghamshire Police, Corporate Communication)
Many of us use the internet as part of our daily lives, for banking, shopping, socialising and entertainment.
But do you know how to protect yourself from potential fraudsters who send phishing and/or spam emails?
Phishing is an attempt to trick users into revealing personal information or financial data. Ensure you don’t become a victim by noting some of the common features of emails used by fraudsters:
- Phishing emails are not usually sent to your own name, general terms are used such as ‘Dear account holder’.
- Emails tend to request immediate action such as changing your password or providing bank details, accompanied by a threat that otherwise your account may be closed.
- Phishing and spam emails usually contain spelling and grammar mistakes.
- The email address of the sender is usually different to that of the real company’s website address.
- Links within the email direct you to an insecure website that does not feature the padlock icon or a secure web address starting with https://.
- Spam emails tend to be from someone you don’t know. Although sometimes if someone’s email address has been compromised emails can be circulated to the names in their address book.
- Often spam emails contain special offers or promotions.
- Never click an embedded link in an email from someone you don’t know or from an untrusted source. These can contain viruses or take you to websites containing inappropriate material.
- Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it usually is!
For additional information on scams visit the A-Z of Fraud section on the Action Fraud website www.actionfraud.police.uk/a-z_of_fraud.
You can report any suspicious activity to Action Fraud using the website. You can also report the suspicious activity to the real company that has apparently originated the email; they usually have an email address to use to report phishing.