What Do Phishing Emails Look Like?
How Do You Know If It Is A Phishing Email?
- IRD will never email you to tell your account has been hacked, that you owe tax, that you are due a tax refund, that the Police are after you, blah blah blah.
- Phishing emails often have spelling mistakes or unusual grammar (although not always)
- The email address is not one that matches the organisation, or it is close but not quite right e.g. it is from ird.co.nz instead of ird.govt.nz; e.g. we received a message supposedly from Microsoft, but the email address was messagealert@ another organisation
What Does a Phishing Email Look Like?
- Grammatical error in the opening line: "receive" instead of "received"
- Email address is odd
- We were not expecting anyone to send a confidential document, so this is out of character
- Unusual grammar in the body: "secured document" instead of "secure document"
- Odd closing line: "We hope to continue serving you"
- email address is not from Apple
- email shows it is sent "on behalf of" someone else
- grammatical errors e.g. "problems with your account Apple", "if you ignored this email", "disabled the next 48 hours.. .", space between account and the exclamation mark
- incorrect use of capitals e.g. "Officially Permanently"
How Can I Keep Myself Safe?
- Be cautious about emails asking you to update or verify your details online
- Be cautious of emails saying you’ve won prizes from competitions that you don’t remember entering
- Be cautious of emails that try to get you to act quickly by threatening you with legal action or loss of an account
- Ignore any emails asking you to provide personal information like passwords, or banking information
- Remember legitimate organisations like banks will never ask you to send them your password
- Only open email attachments when you’re expecting them, even if you know who the sender is
- If you’re unsure if an email is from a legitimate organisation, you can contact them to ask. If you do contact them, make sure you go through their official contact channels – don’t use the phone numbers, websites or email addresses included in the email
See more tips on this page at netsafe.org.nz
What should I do if I need help or advice?
You can contact Netsafe:
- Email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Call them toll free on 0508 NETSAFE (0508 638 723)
- Online report form at netsafe.org.nz/report