Recognizing a Phisher
- SPELLING MISTAKES in the email or Website. Sounds simple. But no reputable company will send you an email with spelling mistakes. Or at least they will try not to. It presents a very unprofessional image, and could harm its business.
- LACK OF A PERSONAL GREETING. This is another giveaway, though the fact that you are personally greeted is not a guarantee that it is not a phishing attempt. Paypal, for example, always addresses you by your name in its emails. A common practice of phishers is to send out fake Paypal emails. These are sometimes recognized by the fact that they start with the statement “Dear Member” or “Dear Paypal User” instead of “Dear Jane Smith” (or whatever your name is).
- OTHER MISSING DATA: Almost all legitimate companies include some form of information that is not easily available to someone else. Paypal always uses your username in its emails. Emails from banks or credit card companies almost always have partial account numbers included. A lack of these is a sure danger sign.
- SPAM FILTERS can also help by reducing the number of phishing emails that users receive.