Planit Scotland

Real or No Real: How to Spot a Scammer

2022 is turning into the year of the Hollywood tricksters. Docuseries including We Crashed, The Dropout, The Tinder Swindler, Inventing Anna and Bad Vegan – some better than others, we must admit – all feature (at least) one scammer. 

And, as we soak these storylines up while we wind down in the evening, scammers also seem to be ever-present in our real lives too… though the real ones are way less enjoyable.

Over the last few weeks we’ve had a lot of calls reporting to be from Google, claiming to be ad account managers for our clients… and as we deal with Google every day, we can tell quickly that they’re not legit. But if you’re not dealing with them as often as we are, how can you tell what’s real and what’s not?

From receiving emails from your “boss” asking for vouchers (this may or may not have happened to yours truly) to your bank kindly calling to let you know there’s a “problem” with your account, it’s likely you’ll come across at least one scammer in your life.

But how can you spot if it’s a scam? And, what should you do if you receive a phishing email or bogus call?

Keep Your Eyes and Ears Peeled

There are a few obvious signs you could be looking for when you’re unsure if your email or call is the real deal. 

Check the from email address

Scammers often change the sender name to make it look like it’s sent from an individual or organisation you know however, hidden behind this is typically an email that doesn’t fit. It may include a random mix of numbers and letters or look like it’s come from a personal email address – which a company wouldn’t do. 

Look at the branding

Many phishing emails pretend to be big brands, your bank or the Government – potentially someone you’ve received an email from before. Go back and check the last email in your inbox from them. Does it look the same? Or is the logo a little blurry and off centred? If you answered yes to all of the above, you might just have a wee scammer on your hands!

Listen closely

When you pick up the phone, are there a few moments of uncomfortable silence before someone at the other end speaks to you? Do they sound like they’re trapped down a well?! Scam callers are often calling from abroad, or from illegitimate call centres, meaning there could be a huge strain on the phone lines. If you’re struggling to make out what someone is saying – and you’re suspicious anyway – chances are you’re on the line with a con artist.

Would your English teacher have disapproved?

Poor spelling, grammar and overall presentation are pretty typical from scammers, though often we scan emails so quickly these tell-tale signs can be missed. Take the time to read through it, checking for any inconsistencies in font style and size, little punctuation mistakes and misspelling of common words. Now, we’ll put our hands up and say it… Everyone is human and, if you can believe it, even Team Planit has made these mistakes! But, if you’re second guessing yourself, we’d recommend reaching out to the email “sender” via phone or by emailing the address listed on their website explaining the situation. 

Do you feel rushed?

Scammers often place pressure on you, suggesting an urgency to send over money, click on a link or share personal information. And, coming from a team well versed in the world of email marketing – yes, we LOVE getting clicks on email campaigns, however, we will never share these links randomly or ask for personal details in return. 

You’ve Got a Scammer on Your Hands… What’s Next?

Now that you’ve spotted the wee trickster, it’s time to take action – or, should we say not? 

Don’t click or download anything you don’t 100% trust and be careful about offering up your personal information, including bank details, your mum’s maiden name or your first pet.

If you’re still unsure whether the email or phone call is from the real deal, don’t reply to the email or return the call to the same number – get in touch with them via the contact information on their website.

Next, we’d recommend reporting any emails by forwarding them to report@phishing.gov.uk. This will help reduce the amount of scam emails you receive in the future and make yourself a harder target from phishing attacks. You can also report spam texts and nuisance calls to the Information Commissioner’s Office.

And finally, if the message claims to be from Google or Bing – or someone else related to your marketing – please do let us know. The more we know about the ways scammers are trying to get to you, the more assistance we can offer.

For more information, visit Citizens Advice’s website to check if something might be a scam or head to the National Cyber Security Centre website

Related Posts

psychic
SEO meets ESP: Planit enlists psychic marketing specialist
pexels-pixabay-267389-scaled
Is Twitter hanging by a thread?
Planit-Reviews-Blog-Visual
It’s Time to Review Your Reviews

Related Posts

psychic
SEO meets ESP: Planit enlists psychic marketing specialist
pexels-pixabay-267389-scaled
Is Twitter hanging by a thread?
Planit-Reviews-Blog-Visual
It’s Time to Review Your Reviews
Get 5% Off Your First Invoice

Just subscribe to our newsletter to receive your code

*No minimum spend. Offer is only valid for new customers for invoices raised before June 1st 2024. Terms and conditions apply.