What to Do When You Receive Unexpected Emails

August 4, 2023by TNTMAX

Receiving unexpected emails from different online services or businesses is something that we’ve all experienced. And while some of these messages may be legitimate, others might be malicious attempts by cybercriminals to deceive and exploit your information. 

To safeguard yourself from potential scams, it is essential to proceed with caution and exercise due diligence when confronted with such emails. Here is a quick guide on how to handle unexpected emails. 

Stop. Think. Verify

At TNTMAX, we like to say “Stop. Think. Verify.” This is a great strategy to practice when you receive an email out of the blue. Take a moment to pause and analyze its content before taking any action. Cybercriminals often employ social engineering tactics to trick recipients into clicking on harmful links or downloading dangerous attachments. So pay close attention to the email’s sender, subject line and content for any inconsistencies or unusual elements.

Begin your verification process by asking yourself whether you have an account with the organization mentioned in the email. For instance, if the email claims to be from Netflix, but you do not have a Netflix account, consider it a red flag and refrain from clicking on any links in the email.

Check Recent Activity

If the email pertains to a specific activity, like a change made to your account on Netflix, think back to your recent actions. Have you recently engaged in any activity that aligns with the email’s claim? If the email references an event you have no memory of participating in, it is likely to be fraudulent.

Beware of Urgency and Fear Tactics

Unfortunately, many malicious emails play on recipients’ emotions by creating a sense of urgency or fear. They might claim that your account is compromised or that immediate action is required to avoid penalties. Be wary of such tactics and resist the impulse to click on any links or provide personal information in a frightened state.

Do Not Click on Suspicious Links

Clicking on links in unexpected emails can lead you down a dangerous path. Even if the email appears to be from a familiar organization, hover your mouse over the link without clicking to inspect the URL. If it looks suspicious or differs from the official website’s domain, do not click it. 

Visit the Official Website

When in doubt about an email’s legitimacy, a good best practice is to open a web browser and visit the official website of the organization mentioned in the email, rather than interacting with the email directly. From there, log in to your account and check for any relevant notifications or activities that align with the email’s content.

To protect yourself from falling victim to phishing scams and other cyber-attacks, remember: Stop. Think. Verify. Before clicking any links or providing sensitive information, verify the email’s legitimacy by assessing your account association, recent activities and the sender’s email address. By staying cautious and informed, you can navigate the digital world safely and confidently.

For more information on staying safe online, call TNTMAX at (201) 891-8686, email us at [email protected]