Our reliance on technology comes with an abundance of benefits, but it also comes with a bunch of new obstacles. One of those obstacles: email scams. How many times a week do you receive an email that looks or sounds questionable?

Email phishing scams are on the rise because scammers are using more elaborate tricks to make you vulnerable, and they often adapt their tactics. Your first line of defense against phishing emails is to know how to recognize them. Below are some tricks scammers use to deceive recipients into opening harmful email attachments or provide personal information. Learn what they are so that you can better protect yourself.

  • Phishing emails may look like they are from a company or person you know and trust. If you receive an email from a colleague that contains a weird attachment, or spelling and grammatical mistakes that you believe the sender wouldn't make, think twice about opening the attachment. Scams can also be disguised as emails from your bank, your cell phone provider, or a social networking site. These emails can be hard to spot. Take a close look at how they are laid out to notice whether there are spelling mistakes, and if logos and imagery are used correctly.
  • Phishing emails often tell a story to trick you into clicking an attachment or an external link. They might say that they've noticed suspicious activity on your account, or claim that there was a payment problem. They might even outright ask you to confirm your personal information so that they can update their records! Other tricks are getting you to register for phony programs or offer you coupons for free stuff.

In next week's Coffee Break newsletter, we'll share tips on how you can protect yourself from phishing attacks.