Check these things to avoid messaging scams!

3rd February 2021

When you receive a message claiming to be from a company you recognise, do you ever take the time to check that they are who they say they are? If the answer is no, then you really should be checking, especially if the email or text message that they send you contains an attachment that they want you to open or link that they want you to click on.  

Now you may ask “how can I check this?” There are many warning signs to show if a message is a scam. For starters, the internet is a good place to see if anyone else has been receiving these messages as a lot of people who fall for or spot scams, like to report them so that the scammers don’t catch anyone else out.  

You can also look at the URL without clicking it. On a text message this may be harder as you can’t hover over it with your mouse, but you should be able to see if it’s a fake link as a lot of the links will just be a bunch of gibberish which professional companies won’t use. But if you use a PC to check your emails then you can hover over the URL to view the full thing, making it easier to spot a scam.  

Although texts may be harder to check URL’s than emails, there are plenty of ways to determine if it is a scam: 

  1. Were you expecting contact from these people? If not you could always call the support line for the company itself to check the legitimacy of the message but it is unlikely a company will message you out of the blue.   
  1. Check for spelling or grammar errors. A legitimate company will have proofread messages multiple times before they send them. 
  1. They ask for personal information that may be irrelevant. Even if it is someone claiming to be your bank, please check with your bank either online or by phoning their actual number before giving ANY information over text or email. 

If you are sure it is a scam then don’t follow any of the links or open any of the attachments they’ve sent you, don’t give any sensitive information to them and contact the organisation they are claiming to be, to report it. Then you can delete the email or text and block the sender. 

If you feel like taking this further, and it IS worthwhile, go to https://www.actionfraud.police.uk/reporting-fraud-and-cyber-crime and report what you have encountered. 

If you have any further questions on topics regarding scams, please get in touch.