I'm So Tired of Scam Emails
Updated: Jan 30, 2020
Anthony McDaniel - Author of Blind Spot: Smartphone and Computer Personal Security Guide [Link]
I wake up pretty early in the morning on weekends to begin my routine. I make me a cup of coffee, toast, and I sit at my computer to look through and return emails. Every so often, I'll encounter an email stating that I won some prize.
Phishing Email #1
"We detected your account violates policy on March 05, 2018" - From firstname.lastname@example.org
A fantastic way to start my morning, I know! I will see maybe 4 or 5 of these types of emails in my inbox, and I'll skip right past them as they pile up. After a short while, I will come across another email with the subject.
Phishing Email #2
"Appointment Information Updates..." October 09, 2019" - From email@example.com
Emails that are sent to trick users into giving away information are called phishing emails. These emails may direct the user to a phony site, sometimes even looking identical to another.
In my experience, I found emails such as these likely to be fake. They are made to take information by exploiting users. They feature an attractive subject line that makes visitors want to open the email. More often than not, ESPs (Email Service Providers) will detect and move these fake emails to the Spam folder.
With the rise in sophistication, phishing emails are becoming more difficult to detect. I thought I'd make a checklist of ways you can spot a fake email and save yourself some grief.
Do I Recognize The Sender?
Under the sender category, check to see if the name matches from whom you're expecting the email. If you're expecting an email from Amazon, the email should come from an Amazon email address. For example, Dofirstname.lastname@example.org appears okay as the email ends with the amazon.com domain address.
How Can I Verify The Email Address Is Real?
Some emails are misrepresented and may have a company or person named under the sender’s field, but the email is actually from someone else. For example, if you received an email that says it was sent from Microsoft but the email states that it’s from email@example.com. Please be wary of emails sent like this as they are likely phishing attempts. If you are uncertain of any email, you should contact the Support Desk of the supposed company or contact the sender to verify the address to check whether or not if it is legitimate
What Do I Do With Phishing Emails?
If you suspect that the emails are indeed malicious, you can delete the email. It is not recommended to open or download any emails or attachments from unknown sources.
What Are Some Other Indicators?
Emails that began with “Re:” from an address with which you have had no correspondences.
Emails that are misspelled or have poor grammar usage from organizations.
Promotional emails from third parties to which you have never subscribed.
Emails that have been marked as spam already, by the ESP or yourself, intentionally.