Equine Marketing

Tips and Advice for Marketing Your Equine Program.

Email Phishing Scams and how to look out for them!

Unfortunately, email phishing scams are getting more and more realistic.  So, more and more people are being fooled by them.

What is 'phishing'? 

Phishing is when an email is sent that looks like a legit email from a legit company, that you may even do business with, like NetFlix or Amazon or eBay.  The email looks very legitimate.  Within the email will be a link or two that go to a website that looks just like that companies website.  They will ask for a password reset or your personal information.  In some cases, simply accessing that bogus website will install malware on your computer.

If you are a hacker, this is the process:

  1. The hacker sends a phishing email.
  2. You're encouraged to click on a link and perform a task.
  3. The link takes you to a PHONY web page.
  4. You are tricked into entering your email address and password.
  5. The hacker retrieves your password from his server.
  6. The hacker exploits your harvested credentials.

If it has happened to you, do not feel bad!  Every 2-3 months a customer will contact us about being the victim of malware or identity theft.  The most likely culprit in these cases is bogus emails that were clicked on.  It happens.

So what can you do about it?  

  1. Be sure you have up-to-date anti-virus and anti-malware software on your computer AND your phone.
  2. Use your 'Spidey Sense'!  If it even looks a little bit suspicious, trust your gut, it most likely is bogus.  Here are some common examples:
    1. An email that says your account is locked.  This can be any common company like Netflix, a bank, Amazon, PayPal, etc....  There will be a link to a website that looks credible and it will ask for your username and password.
    2. An email that sends a bogus code that looks like 2-factor authentication was enabled.  This is when you are asked to enter a code sent to your phone.  There will be a link to a website that looks credible and it will ask for your username and password.
    3. An email that says you are owed money and to create an account.  Typically this looks like it is coming from the IRS or a Law Firm.
    4. Email from a person you know that asks you to open an attachment or click on a link.  Typically these just do not sound or look right.  But people trust them as it comes from a known email address.
  3. Look for bad grammar, and spelling as often these emails are coming from foreign countries.
    1. Look at the email address it came from NOT just the sender's name.  Is it a legit email address for that company?  Often they will have an email address that has that company's name in it, but it is not completely correct, in an attempt to fool you.
    2. DO NOT CLICK ON ANY OF THE LINKS.  HOVER over the link instead.  When you do that, you can see the URL of the link address in the footer of your email program.  Make sure that the URL is going to the company.
    3. If the email is from someone you know and they sent you an attachment to open or a link to click on, but it does not feel right.  Contact with a NEW email to verify.  Most often the link or attachment will install malware on your computer.  This occurs after that user's email was hacked.
  5. Be wary of any email that attempts to trigger urgency, fear, and authority.

Lots of things to be on the lookout for!  The best advice is ALWAYS better safe than sorry and use your common sense. 

If there is ever the slightest doubt in your mind, TRUST IT!