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© Ugur Akinci
There is a very easy way to tell a fake phishing e-mail from a real one.
One immediate clue is to receive it from a bank where you have no account. That one is obvious (you would think) but still you’d be amazed how many people take such mails seriously despite the fact that they know they don’t have an account at the said institution.
Such e-mails ALWAYS include a web URL link that they want you to click and visit to “update your critical security information” etc.
BEFORE clicking it, HOVER your cursor on the link and then look at the STATUS BAR at the bottom of your browser window to see the REAL ADDRESS that the link is pointing to.
If that address has nothing to do with the real-looking URL in the letter, then you can rest assured that you are the target of a phishing expedition that could drain your bank account before you know what.
Most of the time, such real addresses will have non-USA country suffixes at the end since they are usually sent by scam artists from relatively lesser-known countries with weak law enforcement. That would be a dead giveaway as well.
Remember: the e-mail address from where the e-mail seems to be originating from means NOTHING since it can easily be faked. Once I even received a scam mail from MY OWN E-MAIL ADDRESS! Wow… the scam operators really went overboard with that one without being aware of it.
The URL typed inside the body of the mail also means nothing because it is just plain text.
But the real web address to which that text is linked – that cannot be faked that easily.
Just hover your cursor over any link that you suspect and find out the real address the link is pointing at. That can save you a lot of unnecessary headache.