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Whilst the world squares up to the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic, some fraudsters are using it as an opportunity to cash in. The Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI) has warned of emails which claim to be from the government offering a tax rebate to support people through this difficult time.

Aside from being a right royal pain the proverbial, these junk emails can pose a pretty serious risk. The official looking emails tell recipients how much is apparently waiting to be claimed, ‘just click the link to provide your details’.

Even now, it’s essential to continue protecting your business and your devices from the threat of cybercrime. So, what should you be looking out for?

Clickbait subject lines

The first thing to notice is the subject line. Wording which urges you to click through will almost always turn out to be spam.

Notorious culprits include:

  • Urgent action required
  • Verify your account with us
  • Payment overdue
  • Limited offer
  • Exclusive report attached

Suspicious looking senders

Of course, masters of junk have wised up over the years and made their subject line craft more deceptive than ever. So, digging a little deeper, who is it from?

Does the email address seem legitimate? Does the email address match the ‘company’ the email is from? Is the email attached to a real domain? If not, steer clear.

Keep a close eye on the send date too

It’s also worth paying close attention to the date the email says it was sent (or received). If coming from an untrustworthy source, sometimes the date will be way back in the past, or way into the future. If your gut tells you the send date isn’t normal, the best thing to do is trust it.

Other things to watch out for

  • Poor grammar
  • Bad spelling
  • Poor translation of non-native English language
  • Download links to something you haven’t asked for
  • Hyperlinks which don’t go to the same URL as the link suggests (check this without clicking by hovering over the hyperlink)
  • Attachments of files you haven’t requested

Have you been affected by COVID-19 related scams? Let us know using the social media links at the bottom of the page. Our teams are also all working remotely if you would like more information about the services we offer; simply call 020 3355 4047.

About The Author

Stephanie Whalley

Serial snacker, compulsive cocktail sipper and full time wordsmith with a penchant for alliteration, all things marketing and pineapple on pizza.

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