Email Scam Protection Tip #10: Your Gut Tells You Something is Wrong

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Email Scam Protection Tip #10: Your Gut Tells You Something is Wrong
Aug 17,2020
Honor Society members on the Washington D.C. member trip taking a photo in front of the White House

This is from the Honor Society published book called "How to Avoid the Top E-mail Scams" by Mike Moradian, written to help protect our member and student community from common online scams. To learn more about the book or to purchase a copy, click here.

 

Tip #10: Your Gut Tells You Something is Wrong

Every single human being has something called an intuition. This is a little voice inside your head that tells you if it thinks something is wrong or right. It’s a personal dialogue you can have with yourself, right inside your head, at any point during the day. Many times, we don’t even realize when we are talking to our gut instincts, which is why we can fail to listen to our natural inclination and get ourselves in trouble.

 

This intuition is the product of your learned and unlearned behavior. It’s attached to your subconscious, which is a deeper level of your mind that is constantly absorbing information around it – even while you sleep. This subconscious comes to develop a mind of its own, that in many times, is more accurate that your conscious mind. Your conscious mind is impacted by your experiences, likes, dislikes, and opinions, which means it can be wrong.

 

Your subconscious, the other hand, is merely learned behavior from all the things you see and consume every day. It’s more impartial, and therefore, something you should listen to when it pipes up.

 

Listen to Your Heart (Gut)

We all have a grandmother that tells us to follow our gut. It’s what makes us unique and reactive. Well, this same response holds true for phishing emails. When you receive an email that you feel just quite isn’t right, that’s your gut telling you something is wrong. How does your gut know? Your subconscious has probably scanned over 10,000 emails at this point in your life, which means it knows a thing or two about normal email structure. It also knows a thing or two about normal chit-chat, and what is customary for outreach on behalf of a company, government, agency, and so forth.

 

If you feel this little tingling sensation in your chest or stomach start to flutter when you look at a new email in your inbox, that’s your gut already telling you something is off. Many times, it’s hard to even describe what exactly is “off.” That’s what’s so impressive about our intuitions. It can be simply:

  • Tonality: Your gut knows when someone’s tone is a little off. Email can make this hard since written correspondence has removed the natural emotions and expressions of talking in-person. But your gut can still, nevertheless, spot a fake tone – which exists in every kind of phishing email. There is nothing genuine behind it!
  • Grammar: Your gut also knows normal, casual English grammar. It can immediately tell if some kind of phisher has drafted the email it is scanning. Your gut can even tell this before your conscious eyes have laid eyes on it reading.
  • Style: This can include bold, italics, punctuation, etc. Either way, your gut can form an opinion on any email in just seconds after reading it.
  • Intention: Have you ever had a bad feeling about a person you know? Something just tells you that they are up to no good? Your intuition can arrive at the same conclusion from an email, believe it or not. Be sure to listen to it!

 

You are smarter than you probably give yourself credit for – if you feel this little voice in your head telling you that you are reading a scam, you probably are! Be sure to follow our other 9 steps in this case for identifying if the email is indeed a phishing email, and what you can do to keep your information and passwords safe and protected.

 

For more on how to protect yourself online, read tips from our published book below: 

Intro: How to Avoid the Top E-mail Scams
Tip #1: Look for the Display Name
Tip #2: Do Not Click the Links
Tip #3: Scan for Spelling Errors
Tip #4: Look for Personal Information Requests
Tip #5: The Offer is Unrealistic
Tip #6: You Never Initiated the E-mail
Tip #7: The Email Requests You Send Money
Tip #8: The Message Contains Some Kind of Threat
Tip #9: The Email Claims to be From a Bank or Government Agency
Tip #10: Your Gut Tells You Something is Wrong
Extra Credit #1: Tips for Staying on Top of Phishers
Extra Credit #2: Knowing When It's a Real Email: 5 Tips

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Email Scam Protection Tip #10: Your Gut Tells You Something is Wrong

 Email Scam Protection Tip #10: Your Gut Tells You Something is Wrong

Email Scam Protection Tip #10: Your Gut Tells You Something is Wrong

Email Scam Protection Tip #10: Your Gut Tells You Something is Wrong

This is from the Honor Society published book called "How to Avoid the Top E-mail Scams" by Mike Moradian, written to help protect our member and student community from common online scams. To learn more about the book or to purchase a copy, click here.

 

Tip #10: Your Gut Tells You Something is Wrong

Every single human being has something called an intuition. This is a little voice inside your head that tells you if it thinks something is wrong or right. It’s a personal dialogue you can have with yourself, right inside your head, at any point during the day. Many times, we don’t even realize when we are talking to our gut instincts, which is why we can fail to listen to our natural inclination and get ourselves in trouble.

 

This intuition is the product of your learned and unlearned behavior. It’s attached to your subconscious, which is a deeper level of your mind that is constantly absorbing information around it – even while you sleep. This subconscious comes to develop a mind of its own, that in many times, is more accurate that your conscious mind. Your conscious mind is impacted by your experiences, likes, dislikes, and opinions, which means it can be wrong.

 

Your subconscious, the other hand, is merely learned behavior from all the things you see and consume every day. It’s more impartial, and therefore, something you should listen to when it pipes up.

 

Listen to Your Heart (Gut)

We all have a grandmother that tells us to follow our gut. It’s what makes us unique and reactive. Well, this same response holds true for phishing emails. When you receive an email that you feel just quite isn’t right, that’s your gut telling you something is wrong. How does your gut know? Your subconscious has probably scanned over 10,000 emails at this point in your life, which means it knows a thing or two about normal email structure. It also knows a thing or two about normal chit-chat, and what is customary for outreach on behalf of a company, government, agency, and so forth.

 

If you feel this little tingling sensation in your chest or stomach start to flutter when you look at a new email in your inbox, that’s your gut already telling you something is off. Many times, it’s hard to even describe what exactly is “off.” That’s what’s so impressive about our intuitions. It can be simply:

  • Tonality: Your gut knows when someone’s tone is a little off. Email can make this hard since written correspondence has removed the natural emotions and expressions of talking in-person. But your gut can still, nevertheless, spot a fake tone – which exists in every kind of phishing email. There is nothing genuine behind it!
  • Grammar: Your gut also knows normal, casual English grammar. It can immediately tell if some kind of phisher has drafted the email it is scanning. Your gut can even tell this before your conscious eyes have laid eyes on it reading.
  • Style: This can include bold, italics, punctuation, etc. Either way, your gut can form an opinion on any email in just seconds after reading it.
  • Intention: Have you ever had a bad feeling about a person you know? Something just tells you that they are up to no good? Your intuition can arrive at the same conclusion from an email, believe it or not. Be sure to listen to it!

 

You are smarter than you probably give yourself credit for – if you feel this little voice in your head telling you that you are reading a scam, you probably are! Be sure to follow our other 9 steps in this case for identifying if the email is indeed a phishing email, and what you can do to keep your information and passwords safe and protected.

 

For more on how to protect yourself online, read tips from our published book below: 

Intro: How to Avoid the Top E-mail Scams
Tip #1: Look for the Display Name
Tip #2: Do Not Click the Links
Tip #3: Scan for Spelling Errors
Tip #4: Look for Personal Information Requests
Tip #5: The Offer is Unrealistic
Tip #6: You Never Initiated the E-mail
Tip #7: The Email Requests You Send Money
Tip #8: The Message Contains Some Kind of Threat
Tip #9: The Email Claims to be From a Bank or Government Agency
Tip #10: Your Gut Tells You Something is Wrong
Extra Credit #1: Tips for Staying on Top of Phishers
Extra Credit #2: Knowing When It's a Real Email: 5 Tips