Phishing scams.

Phishing scams. (Photo courtesy: Unsplash)

Michaela Phillips, Guaranteed Rate, Inc.

Michaela Phillips,
Guaranteed Rate, Inc.

BOULDER –  Avoiding scams can pose a challenge, especially since phishing attempts are becoming more sophisticated. In extreme cases, phishing and fraud can cause disastrous results, including the loss of life savings. Since online scams are becoming more difficult to catch, it’s helpful to know what you can do to safeguard your information. Here, you’ll find steps you can take to protect your accounts from being compromised.

Be wary of urgent language
The goal of most phishing e-mails is to gain access to funds or valuable information as quickly as possible. When you’re planning to go through with a loan or purchase a home, it’s a tragedy to fall victim to these convincing, fraudulent e-mails. If you ever receive an e-mail that appeals to your emotions and pushes you to take action quickly, pause for a moment to closely evaluate the source. While you may be eager to comply with requests from your lender, it’s vital to double-check the details before clicking a link.

Examine the e-mail address
Phishing attempts are often successful when a recipient doesn’t take the time to scrutinize the sender’s address. If you’re about to move forward in the home buying process, you may be expecting to hear from your lender. When you see an e-mail that prompts you to wire your down payment or provide personal details, you may be inclined to trust the source after giving the e-mail a quick initial scan. For your safety, always be sure to look for small discrepancies in an e-mail address, phone number, or company name. In some cases, scammers can closely emulate these details to make the correspondence look authentic.

Avoid checking e-mails when you’re busy
When it comes to stopping phishing attempts, concentration is key. It’s best to refrain from skimming e-mails while you’re busy or not sitting at your home or office computer. When you’re using your phone or other mobile device to glance at your inbox, you may be more susceptible to letting the details slip by. Since phishing scams can be so disastrous and even derail a closing, it’s highly advised to take your time and be thorough about reading e-mails.

By Michaela Phillips, Guaranteed Rate Mortgage. Michaela is the Vice President of Mortgage Lending at Guaranteed Rate, Inc. Contact Michaela at 303.579.5517, e-mail michaela@michaelaphillips.com or visit michaelaphillips.com. NMLS:312874.