My web hosting vendor is IONOS, and I've been a happy customer for over a decade now, so when an email arrives from IONOS I take notice. Here's what recently showed up in my email:
I was immediately suspicious of this email message, because several items caught my attention:
- Dear firstname.lastname@example.org, the real IONOS knows my First and Last Name, plus my account number
- The grammar doesn't sound like a real IONOS message
- There's no IONOS corporate logo, or boilerplate in the footer
My second step was to examine the From address, to see if the sender was legitimate:
Most phishing scams have a totally unrelated From address, but this one does have ionos.com in it, although that can be a fake.
The final clue to this phishing scam was the big link that they wanted me to click, instead I just hover my cursor over the link and review the hyperlink:
The woodtech-in.com hyperlink is not a valid IONOS address, so at this point I'm 100% certain that this is a phishing scam.
Just in comparison, here's what a legitimate IONOS email looks like:
With the legitimate IONOS email message, there are several factors that reassure me:
- First and Last Name
- Customer ID#
- Contract #
- English Grammar
- Official IONOS logo and color
- All links have ionos.com
Be vigilant with reading and clicking any link from your email inbox, double checking that the sender is legitimate and not a forgery. Yes, this takes more time and effort, but think of the cost of having your digital identity stolen and how much time it would take you regain control of your email account, web account, or more accounts.