The main purpose of this blog post is to alert you to two types of scam emails that I’m seeing a lot of these days, and that you may also be receiving.
These emails may come via your website contact form or by direct email; either way, please be careful and be on the lookout for these types of emails.
As the owner of a business website on the internet, you’ll almost certainly be the recipient of some phishing or scam emails that attempt to trick you into revealing sensitive data, passwords, or other private info about your website or business.
Learning to identify these emails is a critical skill that you’ll need to develop in order to avoid becoming a victim. You can find some general information about recognizing and avoiding phishing scams at the end of this article.
The Expiration/Renewal Trick
In this email, the sender seems to be warning you of the impending expiration of your domain name registration. They’ll say that the matter is URGENT and that you MUST ACT quickly.
But these emails are often written in plain text, with no company branding from any identifiably legitimate domain registrar. No name brand company would send such a plain looking email for legitimate purposes.
In this case, not only do they want your money, they want to steal your domain name. The sender is actually trying to trick you into transferring your domain to their service, thereby stealing your domain from you! That would give them control of your website and your emails!
If anything remotely like this arrives in your inbox, DO NOT click any links.
To double check about your domain registration status, it’s best to go directly to the business website of the company where your domain is registered (such as GoDaddy, Register, Namecheap, Network Solutions, etc.) and login or contact them to confirm.
The Copyrighted Images Scam
Another high pressure trick email accuses you of using some copyrighted images on your website. The writer is outraged that this has happened, threatens to sue you, and wants you to click a link to some supposed legal document.
Of course, copyright violations are a serious issue, and no one should ever use images on their website that do not belong to them (or that they have the rights to).
This email takes advantage of that fact, and is trying to trick you into downloading some malicious software via the links provided. So again, do not click any links in such an email.
If in doubt, check it out!
KPFdigital clients: If you receive any emails like these that you are not sure about, please forward to me for review.
More About Phishing and Scam Emails
Cybercriminals often use a range of techniques to trick you, and these emails often have predictable signs of being fake. The info below can help you learn to identify potentially dangerous emails and avoid falling victim to these scams.
Social Engineering Red Flags
View/download Social Engineering Red Flags (PDF)
What Is Phishing?
How to Recognize and Avoid Phishing Scams