Phishing attacks are one of the most common security challenges that both individuals and companies face in keeping their information secure. Whether it’s getting access to passwords, credit cards, or other sensitive information, hackers are using email, social media, phone calls, and any form of communication they can to steal valuable data. Businesses, of course, are a particularly worthwhile target.

To help you better understand how to avoid falling victim to phishing attacks, we have put together an example of a fraudulent email with various elements highligted of what to look for.

  1. From address – Find out who the email is really from. View the email headers and from address to identify the sender and find out where the message really originated. This email attempt uses a phony email address: “[email protected]”.
  2. Distorted (stretched) logo. A phishing email may contain the company logo, but fraudulent emails may have an image that appears stretched or distorted.
  3. Note the email greeting. An email from us would address you as a member or by name.
  4. Strange wording / Misspelled company name. Another tactic used to bypass email filters. Examples in this email: “BillFCU”. Look for misspellings, grammatical or punctuation errors that can help identify phishing emails.
  5. Check that the website you’re accessing is legitimate. One common phishing technique is to include links in an email that look like they go to a legitimate website. Upon closer inspection, the link may actually take you to a website that has nothing to do with the company the email is pretending to be from, even though the resulting website may be designed to look exactly the same. This link looks official, but notice what happens when the mouse curser rolls over it. The link’s destination points to a completely different website.