5 Ways to Protect Against Email Scams

Jim Cantrell

As technology advances the internet becomes a more dangerous place. Despite our efforts and security to protect us from it, our email was hacked Wednesday 7/19/2017. Hundreds of emails were sent out to my contacts and associates. The email came from my email address, jim@retirementandwealth.com, but was not from me. It contained a Docu-sign attachment that asked the receivers for personal information including their email and password. Some people who received the email responded to ask “me” if it was legitimate and the hacker responded verifying that he was me. Although the emails came from my email address we could not see the initial message that was sent.

As soon as we became aware of this, we shut down our internal system to protect all client information and shut down all company emails to prevent any more emails from going out. Luckily, we were able to regain full control; we were able to change all passwords and stop the threat. All client information and assets were kept safe. Our team is always working to protect our clients and here are five ways you can help to further protect yourself. 

1. Do not send any personal information via email

There is no reason that you should be sending personal information or passwords to anyone via email. If someone needs your information for whatever reason, you should meet with them in person to make sure that your information is kept private.

2. Question emails that ask for information

If an email asks you for personal information don’t be afraid to question it. No reputable company should be asking you for information via email. We will never ask our clients to send private information via email. When we do need information, we always let clients know ahead of time and always provide an explanation as to why we need the information. If an email arrives asking for information with no explanation or forewarning, do not respond. Whether you believe that we have requested it or not, please never sent private passwords or information via email. If you are unsure about any email you receive, please contact the sender.

3. Do not respond to a suspicious email through email

If you receive an email that appears suspicious, call the sender. If someone has hacked an email, emailing them for verification will not solve the issue. The hacker will tell you that it was a legitimate email. Calling the person or organization to which the email belongs will give you a clear and honest answer if the email was real or fake.

4. Check for typos or other abnormalities

Often a fake email will have typos or grammatical errors. Overall, something may just look off. If an email doesn’t look right to you, don’t respond.

5. Call the sender

Good communication is the best way to protect yourself. If anything in an email seems wrong or suspicious, communicate with the sender. This will protect you from responding to a fake email, as well as protect the sender by alerting them to the problem.

Email scams like this are happening every day and it is becoming increasingly important for us to be aware of fake emails. Our team is working to improve our knowledge of internet fraud as well as help our clients be protected in every controllable way.

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