Phishing is the practice of sending out emails that appear to be from a trustworthy company in order to access information for fraudulent purposes.
The main aim is to get hold of passwords, personal details or credit card details. Phishing emails often look like they’re from reputable organisations including banks, social networking sites such as Facebook or online auction sites like eBay. They’re not.
How does it affect my holiday home business and my guests?
Never underestimate how valuable genuine booking enquiries are to someone attempting to run a scam. Instances of fraudsters trying to access this information are increasing, so do be vigilant.
If someone manages to hack your personal email accounts, they’ll be able to see your enquiries and take payments from potential holidaymakers while posing as you, the legitimate owner of the holiday home. It’s unlikely you’ll ever know it’s happening as hackers are wise to delete all traces of communications with your guests.
How do I know it’s a phishing email?
Phishing emails will usually ask you to update, verify or provide an aspect of your account information. Most of the time, you’ll be asked to click on a link which will take you to a bogus website. This is often a very convincing copy of the legitimate site of the company in question. Obviously, not all emails of this type are scams, but there are certain things you should keep an eye out for:
- Email address. The sender’s email address won’t tally with the website address of the trusted organisation. It may well be sent from a completely different address, often a free web mail address.
- Generic greeting. Instead of using your proper name, or the name registered on your account, a non-specific greeting like ‘dear customer’ is often used.
- Sense of urgency. The email may urge you to take action as soon as possible – it may even threaten closure or suspension of your account if you don’t act immediately.
- Prominent website link. These can either be forged or appear to be very similar to the proper address, but beware – even one different character means it’s a different website.
- Request for personal information. Such as a user name, password or bank details.
- Errors. The email may contain a series of spelling and grammatical errors, content that contradicts itself and is too good to be true.
I’ve been directed to another website from an email. How do I know this site is genuine?
Always check the URL (website address) in the address bar at the top of the page. A common phishing technique is slightly misspelling the domain name, so watch out for that.
We’ll never ask you to log in to any other site than holidaylettings.co.uk in order to change your advert or personal details. You should only ever log in from a secure link, either a domain name beginning https or with a padlock icon by the web address. This is the only place where we’ll ask you for your password – we’ll never request it by email.
Also be aware of any text tagged on after the main site name and before the .co.uk/.com. For example, a bogus website could be something like http://www.holidaylettings.worldwide.co.uk
Read more info about keeping your details safe online.