HonorSociety.org E-mail Scam Protection Tip #4: Look for Personal Information Requests

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HonorSociety.org E-mail Scam Protection Tip #4: Look for Personal Information Requests
Aug 17,2020
Jennifer Stark, A 2020 Honor Society Member Spotlight Scholarship Recipient

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 #4: Look for Personal Information Requests

This one might sound obvious, too, but you’d be surprised how many people end up giving out credit card or account information by accident through a phishing email. We all end up on auto pilot every now and then – it’s hard not to given how busy life is for the average person in 2019. We get up, open our emails, and respond to them half asleep in bed as we get the day moving. Before we have even had our morning coffee, we find ourselves answering correspondence that might just ask for something as simple as a credit card expiration date or security code we “inputted incorrectly.”

 

If the email name looks legitimate, like it’s coming from Square or PayPal, then we go ahead and do it without second thought.

 

Well, in this chapter, we’re going to look at why it’s very important that you still consider the information you are just freely sending out into the internet. There are bad guys in every dark corner of the internet, just waiting for someone to be a little lenient with their personal identification information!

 

Never Give Up Personal Information

No matter how legitimate an email might appear, there is never a right time to give up personal information. Think about this from a common sense angle:

  • Your bank does not need you to confirm your bank account information or credit card information. They already have it. In fact, they are the ones that created this information and assigned it to you in the first place.
  • Your recent purchases do not need you to submit your credit card information for a second time. If you have a confirmation email that the order was placed, then trust us, your information went through. The company does not need you to send your information in an email.
  • The government does not need you to send personal information like SS numbers in an email. They can go retrieve that information if they really need it.

 

Look for Obvious Scam Information

If you receive an email asking you to confirm your address, that could be legitimate. Your address is public knowledge and accessible online for anyone who wants it. Look for these sketchier direct requests, which should send off a red alert:

  • Passwords
  • Account information
  • Bank account information
  • Identification information like passport numbers
  • Information to other accounts unrelated to the one in question

 

Remember: most companies understand that information in emails is at risk. Plenty of email viruses go around each year that almost guarantee someone else has read your emails. Look at politicians, for example. Emails can quickly become public sources of information as needed. That’s why no agency or company will ever ask you to submit sensitive information in an email. Instead, they have an encrypted portal for credit card number information. They don’t want you to be hacked using their services – you’ll never shop from them again! Consequently, they will go out of business.

 

Therefore, if one of these companies needs personal information, like PayPal needing you to verify a transfer, then they are going to do it from within their site, or send an email letting you know about it and prompting you to login. They will not ask that you confirm this information directly in an email.

 

Basically, there is never an instance when someone is going to ask you to impart personal information in an email. In a rare case in which a company is unprofessional and does so, consider picking up the phone and calling them to confirm the request. Otherwise, make it part of your normal email etiquette to never impart information that can impact your personal and financial future.

 

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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HonorSociety.org E-mail Scam Protection Tip #4: Look for Personal Information Requests

 HonorSociety.org E-mail Scam Protection Tip #4: Look for Personal Information Requests

HonorSociety.org E-mail Scam Protection Tip #4: Look for Personal Information Requests

HonorSociety.org E-mail Scam Protection Tip #4: Look for Personal Information Requests

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 #4: Look for Personal Information Requests

This one might sound obvious, too, but you’d be surprised how many people end up giving out credit card or account information by accident through a phishing email. We all end up on auto pilot every now and then – it’s hard not to given how busy life is for the average person in 2019. We get up, open our emails, and respond to them half asleep in bed as we get the day moving. Before we have even had our morning coffee, we find ourselves answering correspondence that might just ask for something as simple as a credit card expiration date or security code we “inputted incorrectly.”

 

If the email name looks legitimate, like it’s coming from Square or PayPal, then we go ahead and do it without second thought.

 

Well, in this chapter, we’re going to look at why it’s very important that you still consider the information you are just freely sending out into the internet. There are bad guys in every dark corner of the internet, just waiting for someone to be a little lenient with their personal identification information!

 

Never Give Up Personal Information

No matter how legitimate an email might appear, there is never a right time to give up personal information. Think about this from a common sense angle:

  • Your bank does not need you to confirm your bank account information or credit card information. They already have it. In fact, they are the ones that created this information and assigned it to you in the first place.
  • Your recent purchases do not need you to submit your credit card information for a second time. If you have a confirmation email that the order was placed, then trust us, your information went through. The company does not need you to send your information in an email.
  • The government does not need you to send personal information like SS numbers in an email. They can go retrieve that information if they really need it.

 

Look for Obvious Scam Information

If you receive an email asking you to confirm your address, that could be legitimate. Your address is public knowledge and accessible online for anyone who wants it. Look for these sketchier direct requests, which should send off a red alert:

  • Passwords
  • Account information
  • Bank account information
  • Identification information like passport numbers
  • Information to other accounts unrelated to the one in question

 

Remember: most companies understand that information in emails is at risk. Plenty of email viruses go around each year that almost guarantee someone else has read your emails. Look at politicians, for example. Emails can quickly become public sources of information as needed. That’s why no agency or company will ever ask you to submit sensitive information in an email. Instead, they have an encrypted portal for credit card number information. They don’t want you to be hacked using their services – you’ll never shop from them again! Consequently, they will go out of business.

 

Therefore, if one of these companies needs personal information, like PayPal needing you to verify a transfer, then they are going to do it from within their site, or send an email letting you know about it and prompting you to login. They will not ask that you confirm this information directly in an email.

 

Basically, there is never an instance when someone is going to ask you to impart personal information in an email. In a rare case in which a company is unprofessional and does so, consider picking up the phone and calling them to confirm the request. Otherwise, make it part of your normal email etiquette to never impart information that can impact your personal and financial future.

 

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