Protect Yourself Against Phone & Email Scams

Ill-intended entities wishing to take advantage of individuals and/or businesses often rely on telephone and email scams. In fact, most people have likely received a spam email or a robocall/text of this sort. But, any and all requests that are received via email or phone – particularly those with financial implications, should be thoroughly vetted to ensure their legitimacy. To do that, companies should have email, phone and text policies in place. To help you or your business create a protocol to identify these scams, the P4 Companies are offering the following tips:

Double-check the sender’s email address: Scammers can easily change email ‘labels’ to seemingly represent someone from your organization. When this is done, emails will appear to be internal, but will actually be an external email address with a changed label. In most cases, the source can be verified by clicking on or hovering over the name in the ‘From’ line. Doing so will show the exact email source and help to determine its validity. 

Don’t click on links: Don’t ever click on links embedded in email content, or links sent by text message until the sender has been legitimized. Doing so can open the door for viruses to make their way into your system and access sensitive information. Secondly, if a scam phone number is detected, it should be immediately blocked.

Be wary of the content/subject lines: Email scams often include ‘Urgent’ in the subject line, and messages will often request updated bank information or offers to purchase gift cards. Many times, scams originate outside of the U.S. and thus will contain broken English or misspelled words. Uncommon requests and suspicious verbiage should be flagged by employees and reported accordingly. 

Don’t answer calls from unrecognized numbers: A common tactic for phone scammers is to ask questions like, ‘Can you hear me?’ or ‘Is this John Doe?’ in an attempt to elicit a ‘yes’ response or to verify a name. These responses are recorded and later used during voice verification approval processes with credit card companies, banks, etc. The best line of defense is to simply not answer phone calls from numbers that are unrecognized.

By being mindful of these tactics and developing a scam protocol, sensitive company and/or personal information can be more protected. Clear policies should be implemented and communicated with new employees, and information should not ever be transmitted via email or over the phone without knowing the exact source. Click here for additional resources, or visit the Federal Trade Commission and the Office of the Inspector General for more information.

To learn more about all of the security services offered by the P4 Companies, click here.