Sophisticated scammers don’t play around
You’re buying a house. You’re about to wire over the down payment after receiving the email from your real estate agent and lawyer. Everything looks real, the contract in the email is the same as the one in your hand, and the details match 99%. But when you start the wire transfer, the bank calls you back and asks, “Are you sure you want to wire this money to Moscow, Russia?” Russia? You’re in New York right now trying to buy an apartment in Buffalo. As far as you know, everyone you’ve been communicating with is based in New York State. You check the email one more time and the domain name is slightly different from your actual real estate agent/lawyer’s email address. You were almost duped, but the bank caught your money just as it was about to leave your bank account forever.
This happens all the time. Scammers who know your login information will stalk you until a big deal comes around your way. They’re patiently waiting for a big heist like this. They have all the same information as you after all. Not everyone uses a secure email service for important documents. Email has been around for a while and there are many different companies willing to provide it in different countries. That’s just the nature of business. Even uniform security standards can’t do much when a country is uniformly behind on updated hardware and software. There are many links in the World Wide Web and you might not be protected at every connection along the way.
Scammers don’t even need any sophisticated skills like Photoshop when they have direct access to your email account. They just need to copy and paste, making sure that the font, format, and style are perfectly retained. Smudging the bank account number and spoofing the email address are also fairly simple tricks that take a little bit of Googling to do.
If you’re using an old email address with an old email company that’s far behind the times, strongly consider switching over to whatever is the best alternative in your country. In most cases you can import your old emails before completely deleting the old email account. It might be nostalgic and somewhat impressive to boast that you’ve had the same email since 1992, but it’s also foolish and dangerous if the company is stuck in 2000. Be smart, be safe. Do what needs to be done to protect your online security.