One of the maddening things in modern life is the number of spam emails you get. I bet if you had a euro for every email you received telling you that your bank account has been compromised, you’d be so minted you wouldn’t care if it had!
How do you know which emails are spam and which emails are genuine? What if your bank really is trying to get in touch with you?
The Golden Rules
These simple tips will help you differentiate spam emails from genuine communications from your bank or financial institution.
The most important rule of all is:
If you’re not sure about an email don’t respond to it.
Here are a few more indicators that an email may not be genuine:
- Your bank will always refer to you by name. You will never receive a genuine email from a bank addressed to “Dear Customer” or “FAO The Account Holder”
- Check the email address. The email address may say “ABC Bank Limited” but if the email address is something like firstname.lastname@example.org [here the n and the a are transposed] or it comes from an email address that doesn’t match the web address such as email@example.com then it’s unlikely to be genuine. [Most email programmes show you the details of the from address at the top of the message.]
- Your bank will never ask you to divulge personal or account information, and certainly never your password. If an email really is from your bank, remember, they already have your details.
And the second most important rule is:
If you do want to get in touch with your financial institution, go to their website and click on the contact links there. It may take you longer than replying to the email, but it’s so much safer.
If there is an attachment on the email DO NOT open it. This is generally where the virus will be.