Phishing mail – how to identify fake customer communication via email

Cyber criminals are using more and more perfidious methods in order to extract personal information from customers online, often for financial gain. One of the most common ways that this occurs is through fake emails, also known as phishing emails. At first glance, these can appear to be legitimate customer communication from companies or service providers that you are affiliated with, and can come in the form of bills or official looking notifications. They can also use attachments in their communication that, when opened, will infect the computer with hidden malware.

A specific phishing message, that has recently become very prevalent, claimed that the account of the individual that had received the message was about to be shut down, and in order to prevent this from happening they would have to share their personal information. Recipients are then directed to a third party website, which will ask them to input information such as passwords or details of their bank account.

Cyber criminals can then use this information for personal gain, such as hacking into customers bank accounts.

Real versus fake communication – how to recognise it

The 1&1 Control Panel provides a certified and safe way to confirm that your email communication from 1&1 is legitimate. If you are not sure if the email you’ve received from 1&1 is genuine, you can check out your account in the Control Panel; every email we send you is also available to view here, allowing you to distinguish real emails from phishing ones

Here are a few more tips that will help you identify fake email communication:

  • Are you being addressed by your real name? 1&1 always communicates personally with its customers; if you are being addressed as ‘Dear Customer’ or similar, this can be an indication of phishing mail
  • Is the mentioned customer id really yours? If so, there is a good chance that the email is officially from 1&1, if not, its likely to have come from a third party
  • Phishing mails often contain easily detectable mistakes. Besides grammar and spelling, check if brand names are being used correctly and consistently throughout
  • Is the email address you are being contacted on definitely the one you used to sign up to 1&1? This can be an important hint, as cyber criminals often collect a huge amount of random email addresses, or automatically generated addresses, and just send out a large number of these emails

Besides these tips, we of course recommend equipping all your devices with the latest anti-virus software and ensuring that it’s regularly updated.

At the 1&1 Help Centre you can find detailed examples for official 1&1 customer communication. If you have encountered phishing mails that look like they have come from 1&1, you can always report them via the 1&1 Help Centre.

Category: eBusiness | Products | Tips
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