How do you recognise a phishing email?
Phishing emails will often contain the following elements:
- Linguistic errors: typos or words that are used incorrectly, e.g. ‘volunters’ (instead of ‘volunteers’), ‘sincerly’ (instead of ‘sincereley’)
- Stylistic errors: (excessive) use of capital letters, exclamation marks or question marks, and use of archaic or unusual words and sentence structures (as if Google Translate had been used to write the email), e.g. Sign up NOW!!! (capital letters and 3 exclamation marks), ‘sincerly’ (instead of ‘sincerely’)
- Deviating language: the communication style is different to what you'd normally expect from the person or company, e.g. starting the email with ‘hi’ (instead of ‘dear’), the email is focused on encouraging you to click on a link (pushy rather than informative)
- House style deviates from norm: the graphics are not at all or not quite in line with the guidelines, e.g. a pixelated image of Guido Vanherpe taken from the internet, a banner with typos (‘Vanerpe’ instead of ‘Vanherpe’), element upside down in footer, poor quality logo in footer
- Unknown sender: the email address is unfamiliar or incorrect, e.g. ‘Guido Vanerpe’ (instead of ‘Guido Vanherpe’) and firstname.lastname@example.org (instead of email@example.com)