We try to stay on top of spam/phishing on this website. Unfortunately, it is “their” job to figure out how to continue doing the business of spamming/scamming/phishing and occasionally, something gets through. Here’s some info to help you sort through how to identify, and what to do if you get something suspicious.

From Carnegie Mellon University website

Question the Content of the Message

Sometimes the best defense against phishing is to trust your best instincts. If you receive a message from a supposed known source that appears out of the ordinary, it should raise a red flag. When receiving an unsolicited message, users should always question the content of the message, especially if the message is requesting information or directing the user to click on links or open attachments.

Before responding to any questionable message, perform the following tasks to ensure the message is reliable.

  • Ask yourself:
    • Was I expecting this message?
    • Does this email make sense?
    • Am I being pushed to act quickly?
  • Examine the email and look for:
    • Sense of urgency
    • Unsolicited request of personal information
    • Generic greeting/signature
    • Unfamiliar links or attachments
  • Contact the sender of the message through a trusted channel
    • If the email appears legitimate, but still seems suspicious, it is best to contact the supposed sender through a trusted phone number or open a new outgoing email message using their real email address found in the address book. Do not reply to the message in question.

It is important to always remain vigilant when receiving mail whether it is from an unknown sender, someone you are close with, or an organization you are familiar with. Cyber scammers are always looking for new ways to exploit individuals for their own personal gain.

How to Handle a Spam/Phishing Message

If you think you’ve received a phishing message, what should you do? Here are some best practices to help you handle this appropriately.

  • DON’T respond. If you suspect a text is from a scammer, do not reply. Replying confirms your number is active, which guarantees more messaging.
  • DON’T click links in a message. Clicking links in an unsolicited text message may infect your phone or mobile device with malware that copies your stored personal or financial information.
  • REPORT the message immediately to email:
  • DO NOT POST about the message to the Top Trail Facebook Group.

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