Hook, Line, and Sinker: How to Spot Phishing Scams

Picture of Carmine J. Corridore

Carmine J. Corridore

Carmine Corridore is a seasoned professional in the I.T. industry with over 30 years of experience. He has held various positions from field tech, team lead, service manager, project manager, and Director of I.T. Currently, he serves as the Client Facing Chief Strategy Officer and President of Underdog Cyber Defense. Carmine is a Rotarian and serves on the local chamber board and several committees. Carmine believes in giving back to the community, and he accomplishes that through donations and sourcing local talent and goods. Carmine is Credentialed and Certified in Cybersecurity.

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You know the drill: an email lands in your inbox, offering you an exclusive deal or an urgent request from your bank that you must address immediately. On the surface, it looks genuine, but something feels off. While some scams are as easy to spot as a fake prince promising untold riches for a small fee, others are so subtle they can fool even the tech-savvy among us. Do you know how to spot phishing scams?

Phishing scams are more than just a modern-day nuisance; they are a persistent threat to your identity, finances, and potentially the framework of your business. Today, we’re diving deep into understanding this digital menace—how to identify it and protect yourself and your business from becoming the next victim.

Why Phishing Scams are a Big Deal

Why all the fuss? Phishing scams are essentially the digital evolution of con artistry. According to recent cybersecurity reports, 90% of cybercrimes start with a phishing email. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Aside from losing money, falling for phishing scams can set off a chain reaction of unfortunate events—identity theft, ransomware attacks, and even jeopardizing the security of your entire business network. In short, phishing isn’t just an attack on your wallet but on your life, livelihood, and peace of mind.

The Red Flags to Watch For to help Spot Phishing Scams

So, how can you tell a legitimate email from a phishing attempt? While no single rule applies to all scenarios, there are common red flags you can look out for to help spot phishing scams

  1. Generic Greetings: Phishing emails often start with a generic “Dear Customer” or “Dear User” instead of using your real name.
  2. Spelling and Grammar: Check for glaring spelling and grammatical errors. Professional organizations usually proofread their communications carefully.
  3. Unusual Requests: Watch out for emails asking you to “verify your account,” “update your password,” “click on a link,” or “download an attachment.”
  4. Sense of Urgency: Phishing emails often create a false sense of urgency to provoke immediate action. They might warn you of an unauthorized login attempt or a pending legal action.
  5. Mismatched URLs: Hover over any links to reveal the URL. Be cautious if it doesn’t match the supposed sender’s website or has typos.

Verifying Email Authenticity to help spot phishing scams

So you’ve got an email that seems too good or alarming to be true. What do you do next? Don’t click any links or download any attachments just yet. Instead, go straight to the source.

Contact the supposed sender differently—perhaps a phone call or a direct message on a verified social media account. Confirm whether they sent you the email in question. Remember, trust but verify. And if you can’t prove it, don’t trust.

Time for Action!

Knowing what to look for is half the battle. But why stop at personal vigilance? Cyber threats are ever-evolving, and your business must stay ahead of the curve. You need more than just knowledge; you need a strategy to spot phishing scams

That’s where we come in. At Underdog Cyber Defense, we’re not just about selling you the latest firewall or antivirus software. We’re about understanding your unique business needs and crafting a comprehensive cybersecurity strategy tailored just for you. We’re here to be your trusted advisors, helping you navigate the murky waters of cybersecurity without making it feel like you’re alone in the sea.

How Underdog Can Help

  1. Educational Workshops: We offer workshops that educate your team on the latest cyber threats and how to identify them.
  2. Personalized Cyber Strategy: One size doesn’t fit all. We’ll assess your current infrastructure and recommend a strategy that aligns with your business goals.
  3. 24/7 Monitoring: Our round-the-clock Monitoring ensures that if a threat does appear, we’ll spot it before it becomes a problem.
  4. Transparency: We’ll always be an open book, updating you at every stage and answering any questions you have.
  5. Continuous Improvement: The cyber landscape changes rapidly. We’ll continually optimize your cyber strategy to meet new challenges.

So why wait for a crisis to take action? Book a cyber strategy session with our team today and take the first step towards a safer, more secure future. After all, it’s not just about protecting your business; it’s about safeguarding your revenue, reputation, and legacy.

Don’t take the bait. Learn to spot phishing scams hook, line, and sinker—and make sure your business is too savvy to get reeled in.

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Carmine Corridore

Monroe County, Pennsylvania (PA)

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Underdog Cyber Defense, formerly know as Underdog Computer and Network Solutions LLC., has rebranded to communicate that we are now focusing our exceptional IT and network capabilities on the vast challenges associated with Cyber Security.