We all know how annoying phishing emails can be. They take up space in your inbox, and you have to constantly scroll through or delete them to get to your actual emails.  A lot of the time it’s easy for us to discern between what is valid and what could be potentially threatening to us. Sometimes, however, the emails look pretty legitimate and before we know it, we have clicked on something and given out personal information to someone that we shouldn’t have. If you have ever been the victim of a scam, you know all too well how it disrupts your way of life.  In order to better inform our members, we thought we would look at an example of what we should all look at when deciding if an email is legitimate or a threat.

This email was brought in to us by one of our members to confirm his suspicions that this was in fact a fraudulent email.

The first thing we noticed was that the domain name of the sender was slightly different from ours.

Our email address will always be @harborlightcu.org.

*Disclaimer- harborlight.org is in fact a legitimate website belonging to Harbor Light Community Chapel in Harbor Springs, MI.

The next thing we noticed was the link to “verify now” to keep their email account active. One question you should ask yourself before clicking on a link within an email is “does what they are asking of me make sense?”  Another thing to consider is the urgency in which they are asking you to do something.  If this was in fact a legitimate request, or something that was, in fact, time sensitive, there would be a date stated as to when it needed to be done.

Next we noticed the poor grammar and typos located within the body of the email. Namely, the extra capitalization of “Immediately,” “Keep,” and “Account.”  Also, it makes more sense to say “needs verification immediately,” and “to keep your account active.”

Above all else, think before you click. If it sounds the least bit fishy, it probably is.  Take the time to do some research of your own, ask questions, or contact the organization that you think the email was sent from. Luckily our member had the intuition that something was off and brought the email to our attention.

We decided to contact Harbor Light Community Church to make sure that it wasn’t just a misunderstanding. They confirmed that they did not send out any emails of this nature.

It’s always important to remember that you are your best defense against fraud and phishing. Virus protection is extremely important, relying only on that to protect you again cyber threats is not the way to go.  Be your own firewall and stay educated on the latest scams and dangers.