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16 Jun

The 5 Most Common Types of Scam Emails

We regularly receive scam emails referring to both our website and client websites, so we wanted to take the opportunity to highlight some of the most common types and help you to spot them.

There seem to be so many scam emails out there, and it can sometimes be difficult to understand what’s legitimate and what’s not. The key thing to look out for is the links. When links are provided in emails, it’s all too easy to just click them, but you need to be really careful and avoid clicking on links unless you are 100% sure that the sender is genuine.

We find that the most popular types of scam email related to a company's website seem to be:

  • Image copyrights
  • SEO companies
  • Fake invoices / bills
  • Domain name renewals
  • Content (spelling / grammar)

Image copyrights

We see loads of emails from ‘people’ saying that they are the original owner of an image or video on a website, threatening that the recipient will face very large fines if they don't take down the content. They often have links in them with more information about the image in question, but please, DO NOT CLICK on any links from these emails as they may be malicious.

If you are in any doubt about the permissions of your images, please contact us and we’d be more than happy to review them with you. On client websites, we only use images that have the correct licenses and permissions or have been authorised by the client, so it is extremely unlikely that any copyright infringements should arise.

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SEO companies

This is kind of an obvious one. There are a lot of SEO companies out there. Some good ones, but a lot of bad ones! Just be sure to do your due diligence on the company before replying or clicking a link; start off by checking out their website and if they don’t have one… well. Check out the email address of the sender too – if it’s Gmail or Yahoo for example, instead of a company name, avoid them!

Fake invoices / bills

Emails with invoices or bills are getting more and more realistic and it's often difficult to quickly determine if they are real or not. They could be for a service you already use and, if you are in a rush and don’t check, you could risk losing money. If you receive a bill or invoice via email, especially one that you are not used to receiving, always log in to your account or call the company directly to confirm. Again, this may sound obvious, but in the busy lives we all lead, it’s horribly easy to miss these things.

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Domain name renewals

This is another really common scam email. They usually threaten that your domain name is going to expire and needs to be renewed, often for an extortionate amount of money. You might even get a letter through for this! Please be careful before you pay these invoices and always double check who your domain name provider is. If you are in any way unsure, please contact us and we can help identify who you should be paying for your domain. Don’t get caught out!

Content (spelling / grammar)

Emails from people who claim to have ‘spotted a typo’ on your website are a ploy for you to reply to them. Please be careful about any emails that relate to your website content – especially spelling and grammar. If you are unsure, simply ‘Google’ the email address of the sender or their name and if nothing shows up, the chances are that it’s a scam. Just ignore it and remember: never click on the links!

All of the above emails generally have the same three things in common…

  • A ‘non-domain’ based email address – For example, a Gmail address rather than a company email such as @doliadesign.co.uk. If you receive any suspicious emails from a Gmail address, this should be the first red flag!
  • Poor English – Scam emails are often poorly written and/or composed. If there are a couple of dodgy spellings or unusual words in there, this is a sign that it’s a scam.
  • Mentioning money in $ – Often, if emails mention that some sort of money is owed in USD, then they are probably not legitimate (if you are based outside of the US).

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Tip:

A good way to check where a hyperlink actually links to is to simply hover over it (don’t click!) with your cursor and look in the bottom-left (or right) corner of your screen and you’ll see the full URL that the link is going to. For example, the link might be www.paypal.com/pay but the actual link could be www.thisisascam.com/pay.

There are a lot of scam emails out there so please do be careful. Something as simple as clicking a link can cause serious problems that you could really do without.

Please reach out to us if you have any questions or are unsure about any emails you receive!

Matt

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CONTACT

Dolia Design Ltd
The Old Coach House
The Avenue, Farleigh Wallop
Basingstoke RG25 2HT

01256 536 080

info@doliadesign.co.uk

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