Phishing & Spam – how to identify fake customer communication via e-mail

Cyber criminals are using more and more treacherous methods to permanently damage web service users. A very popular method is through the use of fake e-mail that at first glance seems like real customer communication. These types of emails mimic service providers by sending alleged bills or other official-looking notifications to recipients who are then asked to follow a link to a website, where they are asked to provide sensitive information such as passwords or payment information. With this information, cyber criminals can access customer data for criminal purposes and inflict financial harm. There can also be hidden malware in attached files, which infect a user’s computer once opened. In recent cases, cyber criminals have evolved their tactics by sending phishing e-mails claiming to close a user’s account. Should the reader fall for the scam and enter their login information on a fake website, the email and password may end up being released to other spam mailing lists.

How to recognize real versus fake communication

The safest and most secure way to login to your 1&1 account is through the 1&1 Control Panel. If you are not sure if you’ve received an official 1&1 email, check your account in the Control Panel. Every message we send to you is also available here. Here are other ways to distinguish authentic email from fake ones:

  • If you aren’t addressed with your real name, this could be an indication of phishing – 1&1 always communicates personally with our customers.
  • Is the mentioned customer ID actually yours? If so, there is a good chance that the e-mail is official. Be sure to keep it confidential and don’t give it out to third parties.
  • Read the e-mail carefully and attentively. Phishing often contains easily detectable mistakes. Aside from grammar and spelling, brand names can be misused as well. For example: in an older phishing case, the sender used “1and1” instead of “1&1”.
  • Did you receive the email from the same account that is listed with 1&1? This is an important hint, because cyber criminals often collect a huge amount of random e-mail addresses or send phishing e-mails to automatically generated addresses.

In addition to the tips above, we recommend equipping and regularly updating all internet-connected devices with the latest anti-virus software.

At the 1&1 Help Center, you can find detailed examples for official 1&1 customer communication. If you have encountered phishing e-mail that claims to be from the 1&1 mail systems, you can always report them via the 1&1 Help Center.

Category: Inside 1&1 | Net Culture | Tips
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