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Privacy & Security Canada > Alerts > Return of an old email scam - how to recognize it.

Return of an old email scam - how to recognize it.

Recently, there has been an increase in the volume of emails that appear to be from various global postal authorities, such as Canada, US and UK, but in reality are scams. These emails urge the recipient to click on a link contained within the email, usually under the guise of re-arranging delivery of a package. Clicking on the link takes the recipient to a site that downloads malicious software to their device or attempts to steal the recipient’s personal information, which then can be used fraudulently.

Whenever receiving an unsolicited email:

  1. Verify the message before you take any other action.
    Do not click on a link, call a phone number provided in the email, wire money or take any requested action, unless you first verify that a request is legitimate. Verify it using information from a source other than from within the message itself.
  2. Ask yourself if you are being urged or tempted to respond or click on a link?
    Be cautious of unsolicited emails that include a sense of urgency. Common email scams include ones that indicate you need to click on a link to arrange for a refund, arrange delivery of a package, obtain an incredible deal, or receive a monetary windfall.

A good “pre-check” is to allow your mouse to hover over a link, without clicking on it. The actual url will be displayed, so you can see if it is the same as what is printed in the email. If it is, that does not automatically mean that it is a valid url and you should still verify the message, but if it is not, that is a very good indicator that the link is not what it is pretending to be. See point 4 in “recognizing phishing emails” for further explanation.

To report phishing emails or fraudulent websites masquerading as RBC company websites, please follow our “reporting it” instructions.

As always, be wary of any unsolicited and suspicious e-mails, even if they are addressed specifically to you and appear to be from legitimate sources.

For more information on phishing, please see Email Scams - how to spot them and Email and Website Fraud.