Watch out for Scam Emails

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General business Posted on January 28, 2018

We have been made aware that there are higher than normal numbers of scam emails hitting the inboxes of our clients and contacts. We have seen examples from 'phishers' masquerading as ourselves, our parent company Baldwins, HMRC, Companies House, Amazon and numerous banks. On the surface, these emails look genuine, however, there are things to watch out for that can protect you from fraudulent attempts to access your personal information or finances.

  • The senders email address - Though scammers often try to use addresses that look genuine, check to see if the address is exactly the same as what you are used to seeing. If it isn't, then it is most likely a scam email.
  • Urgency - Most scam emails want you to act immediately, calling for urgent action either by signing in to a bogus website or replying with personal details. Most organisations will never ask you to provide personal information or account details via email so this is a major warning sign that the email you are reading is fake.
  • Attachments - If alarm bells are ringing about the genuine nature of an email and it is asking you to open an attachment, be very wary. A recent scam email attachment that we have seen, once opened, encrypts the users computer. You are then required to pay a fee to have your machine un-encrypted again. Never open or run an attachment from an email that you suspect to be bogus.
  • Common greeting or salutation - Most scam emails will not address the recipient by name. If you receive an email that looks like it's from a familiar sender but is addressed to 'Dear sirs' or 'Hello' this can be a major warning sign.
  • Spelling, grammar and formatting - If there are misspelled words, strange sentences or formatting that you aren't used to seeing from the real sender, then the likelihood is it's a scam email. Look out for spelling mistakes, grammar errors and logos not in the usual place.

If you think you have received a scam email, report it immediately to the real organisation it is supposed to have come from. 

If you are concerned that an email from us isn't genuine, get in touch with us immediately either direct with your client manager or by forwarding the suspicious email to info@clarkhowes.com.

HMRC has a dedicated page to the types of fake HMRC emails and advises that users report any examples to phishing@hmrc.gsi.gov.uk. Companies House also advise that you report any attempts at fraud to phishing@companieshouse.gov.uk.

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