Gut Check: Is it Fraud?

You know those emails or texts– They appear to be from a company of great importance to you – your bank, Microsoft, an Antivirus software provider – but your gut is telling you that something is off.

Here are some tips for feeling more confident when handling these messages.

What NOT to do:

  • Do not click on any links within the suspicious message, including the “unsubscribe” link. Only unsubscribe from mailing lists that you trust, but are simply no longer interested in.
  • Do not preview or download any attachments in a suspicious message.
  • Do not call any phone numbers in a suspicious message. Only call a customer service number you’ve been provided separately by a trusted source, such as the one on the back of your bank or credit card.
  • Do not reply to a suspicious message.

What you SHOULD do:

  • Check the sender’s email address. On a computer, hover your mouse/trackpad pointer over the sender’s name to preview the email address that it is coming from, particularly the part after the “@.” Does it match the internet address that you would expect from the organization it claims to be from? If not, your gut instincts were correct – send it straight to the Spam/Junk folder.
  • Send the message to the Spam or Junk folder that your email provider offers.
  • Forward spammy or fraudulent text messages to “SPAM” — “7726.” Here’s how:
  • Keep good password hygiene, particularly as it relates to your email and financial accounts. This includes not using the same password for multiple accounts. Enable two-factor authentication wherever it is offered.
  • Check your credit cards for suspicious charges.