We get a lot of people who ask us about scams these days, not just through email, but also phone scams claiming to be Google representatives, threatening claims about domain names, emails, or even banking. The trickery is real, and tactics are getting even more slick, trust us, we see it ourselves all the time in the digital world. Here is a quick list of how to avoid some of these scams, and general rules of thumb when dealing with phone calls and emails.
With email, don't always open every email! I cannot tell you how many people I know that just open all the emails in their inbox without being cautious. When you open an email, that action can be tracked, and might put you on a mailing list you did not ask for. The thing I do is, always check the senders email address before opening the email. This can be done by right clicking the email subject and checking the senders address. For example, if the email subject says "Overdue Paypal charge of $550.00" always first check to see if its email@example.com, 9 times out of 10 its firstname.lastname@example.org. Simply delete it without opening it. If you did open the email already, just dont click any links or download any attachments.
The main bit of advice we give is to ask yourself, do I recognize this business, company, or bank? Is there an actual reason they may be reaching out? If its out of the blue, most of the time its safe to say, its either bad marketing just spamming for low hanging fruit, or simply not valid/scams. By the way....Google will not call you to set up your Amazon Alexa or My Business listing!! If you want to set that up, you can do so yourself. You can always ask a professional design and marketing company (like us) to set it up for you too. So, if you do decide to move ahead with a call or email, see if they ask for personal information or financial details off the bat. That's a major red flag, dont give them ANY info until you understand the situation in full and have verified they are who they say they are and you have a valid reason to trust them. ALWAYS avoid clicking on links or downloading attachments from emails you dont recognize.
It may seem obvious, but always verify the identity of the sender or caller before taking any action. Legitimate organizations will never ask for sensitive information, such as passwords or Social Security numbers, via email or phone without proper authentication processes. If in doubt, contact the company or institution directly using their official contact information, not through the contact details provided in the suspicious message.
-Scott- Forcefield Design