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Follow these simple tips to spot email scams

 March 10, 2020     UFG Insurance    Business   Personal  Read Time: 4 min

Welcome, you’ve got mail!

If you were lucky enough to have a computer in the 90s, your nostalgic heart probably just skipped a beat. 

Email has evolved over the last 30 years, transforming from a novelty to one of the most commonly used tools of technology. It has opened convenient doors for communication among family, friends, co-workers and customers.

Unfortunately, it has also opened doors for scammers and hackers to steal credit card numbers, passwords and all kinds of other private information. 

Let’s look at two ways bad actors can weasel into your data. When you recognize their tricks of the trade, you’ll be able to squash scams to protect yourself and your company.

CHECK OUT: New cybersecurity requirements for government contractors in 2020.

Fraud schemes: The oldest trick in the book

Email scams are nothing new. Many times, these messages follow a similar formula that relies on the idea of tricking the user into giving money to the scammer. These often involve:
  • Bogus business opportunities.
  • Health and diet ploys.
  • Easy money or free goods.
  • Shady investment opportunities.
  • Advance-fee fraud, which asks you to send cash ahead of time. 
With these types of suspicious emails, it's important to remember: If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. It's best to delete them without clicking any links or opening any attachments. 

MUST READ: 3 ideas for safer online shopping.

Phishing scams: The newer rip-off

Phishing is an identity-theft scam that uses emails to trick people into giving out important personal information. Con artists who use this technique usually hijack the identity of a well-known brand or bank. These emails typically ask for login or other personal information. They may include a link to a fake login page. 

So, how do you avoid falling in this trap?
  • Always be suspicious of emails asking for sensitive information.
  • Never respond to an unfamiliar email request for personal information.
  • Never follow the links in an email you think is suspicious.
  • Make sure your computer operating system, browser and antivirus software are all up-to-date.

Knowledge is the best tool for keeping information safe.

Always strive to educate yourself on the latest scam people might be using to steal information online. Whether you think you may have a fraudulent email or a phishing attack, a surefire way to avoid becoming a victim is to delete the message without opening anything within it.

If you run a business, alongside a solid knowledge base, you'll want to make sure your insurance provides the right safety net in case of an e-emergency. UFG Insurance offers cyber coverage that might be exactly what a business needs. Contact an agent to learn more.

Disclaimer: Subject to applicable legal requirements, United Fire & Casualty Company and its subsidiaries and affiliates (UFG Insurance) are no longer renewing or writing new personal lines coverage for current or potential policyholders in most states. To accommodate obtaining replacement coverage, we have entered into a renewal rights agreement for most of our personal lines business. Read more here

The information provided is for informational purposes only. Every attempt is made to ensure that the information is accurate; however, it is not intended to replace professional advice. For more information, see Disclaimers & Other Legal Documents.