Engaging with business owners often revolves around discussing effective methods to detect spam and phishing attempts. These techniques are typically adept at identifying straightforward attacks, such as mismatches between display names and email addresses, multiple misspellings, or the presence of threatening content. These indicators make it relatively easy to spot malicious emails for those familiar with the tricks.
Yet, what if an email or advertisement lacks these overt signs? What if the communication exhibits technical expertise and offers assistance with persistent tech problems? Can these seemingly knowledgeable experts be trusted?
Identifying malicious intent in such cases demands additional effort from both the attackers and the recipients. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to gather more information in situations where you're unsure about clicking through a link:
Best Practices for Safeguarding Against Tech Support Scams:
1. Check Their Documents:
- Legitimate businesses provide publicly available data containing crucial details like country of incorporation and officers. Resources like Dun & Bradstreet or the tax collector for the business's location can offer this information.
- Asking for such details can often unnerve malicious actors.
2. Inspect Their Tools:
- Most companies use distinct domain names for their websites and email addresses. Domain names are monitored by various entities that publish records of bad actors.
- Tools like MXToolbox can quickly highlight any blacklists a domain might be on for spam or fraud.
3. Hear Their Voice:
- Requesting a callback number, if you're already exchanging emails, can be an inconspicuous way to end the conversation. Pay attention to the caller ID during the call.
- Inconclusive generic automated messages might not raise alarms, but indications of a non-serviceable line or mentions of an unrelated company name can signal something is awry.
4. Understand The Trade:
- Legitimate businesses aim to make money. Understanding how an entity generates revenue can be challenging but is essential while examining the provided information.
- If an offer seems too good to be true, it probably is. Watch out for lopsided trades, as they can manifest in subtle ways.
Trust These Experts: Each of these tricks can provide additional information, but it's always wise to seek more details if uncertainty persists. Ultimately, establishing trust, the foundation of successful business interactions, remains the goal, and On Call's team of trusted experts is here to help.