Phishing Email Scams

Recognize the signs before you fall victim

Taba Zimmerman

Earlier this week, I received an email from Netflix stating that I needed to update my card information to reactivate my membership before a specific date. I immediately knew this was a scam email, but went to the Netflix site using my web browser, not using the button provided in the email, just to check and make sure my account's payment method was still active. Everything was fine with my account, so I returned to the scam email and looked it over to find more details that I feel are beneficial for people to know what to spot when dealing with emails that are possible phishing emails.

What is a Phishing Email?

Phishing is the fraudulent attempt to obtain sensitive information or data, such as usernames, passwords, and credit card details, by disguising oneself as a trustworthy entity in an electronic communication.



What to look for as indicators these emails are scams:


Check the To: address

The first thing I noticed wrong with this email was that it was sent to my secondary private email address that is not even associated with my Netflix account. The second thing I noticed was that the address listed in the To: section, which would normally house my email address, houses an email address that isn't legitimate.

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Look out for spelling/grammatical errors

As you can see indicated by the yellow arrow in the picture, the button says "Try Again Payment." This is not grammatically correct and is a good indicator that this email is a scam. 


If I had just clicked the button and followed whatever prompts they required, the scammers would have ended up with my personal information and credit card information. Be careful when clicking links in your emails, even when they come from a company or person you recognize. It is always a good idea to check with the person who sent you the email before opening any attachments or clicking any buttons or links. If the email is from a company you recognize, use snopes.com or contact us to check and see if anyone else has received a similar email and if there is a scam possibility from it.

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