Don't give out personal information
If you receive an email that asks for any personal information such as your name, birth date, social security number, e-mail, e-mail password, or banking information be cautious. It is generally not a good idea to reply to these emails directly.
Instead, you should visit the site that is supposedly sending the email by either:
- manually typing the address in the URL
- or copying and pasting the address.
When you get to the site, look for the contact information for the owners of the site. Once you have found the contact information, you can call the Customer Support number to ask about the email .If there is is not a Customer Support number, e-mail a developer or administrator.
You cab also go to a website like snopes.com which lists most of the e-mail scams currently being run.
Read the emails carefully
Generally when an e-mail is a fraud attempt or a scam it will be poorly worded or have obvious typos. Sometimes the e-mail may have a line like "This is not a joke" or "Forward on to friends". Company names or brands may be misspelled or inaccurate. For example "Goggle" or "Yaho".
Protect and secure your account/password
Anytime you have an account for something important like banking or an e-mail that contains sensitive information, it is a good idea to create a password that is secure and easy to remember. The password should be at least 7 characters long and include letters, that are lower case and/or uppercase, numbers, and symbols like @, or &. For example @p!Es08. Also, you should not give out your password or account information over the telephone or e-mail under any circumstances.
If you think that an e-mail is a scam or that one of your accounts may have been hacked, report it to the e-mail service that you are using. Usually this is done by clicking a button inside the email that says either:
- "Report as Phishing"
- or "Report as Scam"
If you don't have a button that looks like that then the next option is to try to e-mail or contact a Customer Service representative.
If you feel that you have been hacked or that something is wrong with the email you are receiving then you should change your password immediately and run a virus scan on your computer. If you do not have an anti-virus program on your computer, there are free scanners available online.