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Suspicious emails (including Phishing Emails)

There are many email scams out there and the best thing you can do is to think twice before opening any suspicious looking email message. Here are some tips for identifying fraudulent emails.

Requests for personal information

A legitimate business will not ask you for personal information in an email or pop-up window. If you think the request may be real, contact the business directly rather than using any links or responding to any contact information.

Altered web or email addresses can be tricky

Scam artists often use web addresses or email addresses that have been doctored to look like they come from legitimate sites. For example, you might see a url that shows the name of a company with a number after it that might look like this:

A legitimate Canadian website would always have a “/” after the dot ca. If you wish to visit the site, open a different browser and logon as you normally do. When in doubt, always use the official contact information for the company you wish to reach.

Watch for alarmist email messages

Email messages may try to shock or scare you into acting without thinking by making it seem like you will be in jeopardy if you do not respond right away. Do not reply to the email or click the links. Contact the company directly.

Typos and Generic greetings

Companies rarely send emails to their customers that contain typos or have generic greetings. Even if an email refers to you by name, it may not be legitimate.

Look for the lock

Before you enter personal or financial information on a website, ensure that it is secure. If the web address starts with "https", or displays a small lock icon either in the lower right corner of your browser window or in the address bar next to the URL, then it is secure.