5 ways to spot a scam emails
Targeted email scams to us are harder to spot so you’re more likely to trust them. Sometimes these emails look like they’ve come from someone inside Alliance Health Plus, or from another trusted organisation such as Ministry of Health or another PHO/DHB. These can be called ‘phishing’, ‘spear phishing’ or ‘whaling’. Never give out personal/confidential information such as usernames, passwords, credit card information in an email.
1. Expect the Unexpected
The most successful scam emails will be disguised as something you may be expecting and will often be from a trusted person/organisation. For example you may receive an email to click on something from a DHB employee. Make sure to look at any attachments/links before you click on them; do they make sense? Were you expecting to receive this? Does the person/organisation normally send you emails in this way? If in doubt pick up the phone and check!
2. Name check
If you receive an email from someone you don’t know with an attachment/link be wary. You should double check the ‘From’ address of any suspicious email; sometimes scam emails will use an email address similar to a legitimate company’s email address, e.g. ‘….@alliancehealth.com’.
3. Don’t click on unrecognised links
Emails may look like they include a legitimate link but when you hover over the link the URL does not match. If the URL is different than what is displayed it’s probably a phishing attempt and you should not click through. Another trick is misleading domain names, for example:
‘alliancehealth.org.nz.maliciousdomain.com’ is not from us, alliancehealth.org.nz/maliciousdomain could be.
4. Poor spelling and/or grammar
If an email is riddled with errors be aware, it may be a scam. Also be sceptical of generic greetings like, “Dear Customer” or “Dear Member”. Most companies will use your name in their email greetings.
5. Are you threatening me?
“Urgent action required!”, “Your account will be closed!”, “Your account has been compromised!”. These intimidation tactics are very common in scam emails that are wanting to gain personal information about you. If it doesn’t seem right… Don’t click!