- anyone asking for money up front
- unusual or not good use of the English language
- any file with .exe needs to be checked out, not saying they're all bad, but...
- any e-mail asking for personal information
- e-mails that come from a source "threatening action" (ie: closure, disruption of service or need of verification), related to one of your accounts
The problem with links is that they can be masked, and what looks like the link to a real website, as mine did, can easily be re-routed. In my research for this post I found and interesting piece of information on Microsoft's scam information page. The following is an excerpt from that page:
Phishing links that you are urged to click in e-mail messages, on Web sites, or even in instant messages may contain all or part of a real company’s name and are usually masked, meaning that the link you see does not take you to that address but somewhere different, usually an illegitimate Web site.
Notice in the following example that resting (but not clicking) the mouse pointer on the link reveals the real Web address, as shown in the box with the yellow background. The string of cryptic numbers looks nothing like the company's Web address, which is a suspicious sign.
I wasn't able to "copy" the example, but I didn't know that resting over the link was a good idea, you learn something new everyday! Like I said, I really did not think I would ever fall prey to such scams, but I was within one click with this one!