Phishing Emails – How Dealers and Garages Can Avoid Getting Caught
10th October 2019
Dealer management system and website provider Dragon2000 have compiled some helpful tips on how you can avoid being caught out by phishing email scams, as car dealers and garages, among many other types of businesses, are receiving an increasing number of these types of emails.
Phishing attacks are becoming more sophisticated as technology continues to evolve at a rapid pace.
This is where a scammer sends out thousands of emails to businesses and individuals, pretending to be a trusted organisation (such as banks, HMRC, email providers etc) trying to trick you into sending money or to extract sensitive information, including personal and bank account details.
Generally, the emails either contain attachments harbouring viruses, malware or ransomware, or URL links which lead to fake websites, where you are encouraged to enter valuable information the scammer wants to steal.
Although most dealers think they wouldn’t get caught out by such a basic trick, not reading the email properly is the easiest way to put yourself at risk, as at a glance some of these phishing emails can be quite convincing. Here are the warning signs that an email might not be genuine:
- Many of these phishing emails originate from outside the UK, and quite often contain spelling mistakes, and poor grammar and punctuation. Look at the sender’s email address, as the display name can easily be spoofed, and check the actual domain name of their email matches the company’s genuine website address.
- Some emails may look like plain text with links, but others could be formatted with logos and fashioned to look like an automated notification, for example, from your bank or email provider. To check the links in an email, hover over them (but don’t click!) and you will see the whole actual website page address, as the display name of the link can be edited too.
- Look out for a threatening tone that creates a sense of urgency. Some typical examples include: ‘suspicious activity has been detected on your account’; ‘failure to verify your account will lead to permanent termination’; or ‘your email account is almost out of storage space and your emails will be undeliverable’; or any such urgent requests – they are just trying to rush you into action.
- Generally addressed emails with a vague greeting to ‘account holder’, ‘Sir/Madam’, ‘customer’ etc should be treated with caution. However, if your email address format is your name, for example ‘john@’ and then your company domain name, then there are more sophisticated attempts that appear to strip this from your email address and use it within the email to try and make it look genuine. An example of this would be ‘Dear john’, which is using a lowercase letter for the first name, as it’s taken from the email address, so check for this and other warning signs before assuming the email is safe.
- Are you actually a customer of the company emailing you? If you don’t have an account at that particular bank, or a different company provides you with email services than the one demanding that you validate your account, then these are almost certainly fake. Remember, the scammers send thousands of emails, hoping a few will bite.
- Rather than click on links within the email to log in to your bank or email account, or open an attachment, visit the company’s website directly from your browser and bookmarks so you know it’s genuine, and log in to your accounts there.
Essentially, don’t click on any links or open any attachments unless you have read it all thoroughly and checked for the warning signs. If in doubt, and you are a customer of the company the email claims to be from, then contact them directly to check if they have sent you an email – but don’t use any contact details found within the email, go directly to their website instead or use the usual phone numbers you have for them.
Dragon2000 have been helping dealers and garages drive their businesses forward since 1995. Talk to our team today on 01327 222 333 or email email@example.com to find out how our dealer management system, car dealer websites and mobile apps can help your business increase profits and reduce costs.