Is That a Scam Email About Your Company?
Unfortunately, the rise of digital communication has led to an increase in cybercrime. And sometimes, scammers think they can pull a fast one on your customers by impersonating your company. Or they think they can hoodwink you with the promise of better rankings and website improvements.
Most of the time, you’ll be able to identify a scam email within the first few seconds of reading it. But even if you have the slightest suspicion, you should check for tell-tale signs before clicking on any links or downloading attachments.
How to Identify a Scam Email
Some of the most obvious signs that an email is spam include:
- A lack of contact information, especially in the email signature – the emails you send from your business account often include a link to your website, company name, and the easiest way to contact you because you want your customers to engage with you; spammers typically just use a fake name and title
- Poor English – we all make typos, but we’re talking about borderline unintelligible messages; many scammers will use a free translation app that leads to bad grammar, broken sentences, and obvious mistakes that a native English speaker would catch
- Robotic phrasing or monotonous passages – sometimes spammers will just parse information from a site and keep repeating your full web address or business name without adding any personalized touches
What Do Scammers Want?
More often than not, scammers are looking for a quick buck. If you respond or click their link, they’ll likely ask you for your credit card information.
It’s nothing against you or the other people they’re reaching out to, and often they’ve just gotten your email off your website or public record.
In any case, you should never give out sensitive information to a random person on the Internet. We know we sound like a grown-up chastising a child, but you should only share financial information or login credentials with trusted businesses and people.
What Are Common Offerings for Scam Emails?
While some spammers are creative, most of the time, they play the same tune over and over again. Some of the most common propositions they’ll email you about include:
- SEO or Search Ranking Improvements – many scammers will promise that they can boost you to the top of Google search results. While SEO companies will occasionally do cold outreach, they usually have a verified link to their company site and a portfolio of work to demonstrate that it’s not a hoax. You can always run a Google search to check that their company is legitimate.
- Found Errors on Your Site – sometimes, cybercriminals say they found “errors” on your website without being specific. If they aren’t clear or you didn’t sign up for a service to inform you about site errors (like Google Search Console), it’s a safe bet that it’s a scam.
- Content Creation – now and then, scammers will offer to create content for your website, but be aware that this will come at a cost. They may say they’re doing it for free, but they’ll add phishing links into the content to trap your readers. Or they might just want access to your website editor. Either way, it’s best to do your research on content creators before you let them do pro bono work.
- Phishing Attempts – Phishing scams are some of the most common and dangerous types of spam emails. The cybercriminal will include a link modelled to look like it’s from a professional company and ask you to log in. Once you log in, they have access to your entire profile, including credit card information if it’s stored on the website. Unless you request to reset your password for a specific site, it’s best to be cautious of any message that encourages you to click on a link.
While you protect yourself against spam attacks against your business, it can also be helpful to remind your customers that they should be suspicious of content that says it’s from you but seems off.
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