How to spot a FAKE E-Mail
During our day to day business operations, we see a constant stream of people asking us If the e-mail they got is genuine. Cybercrime affects a staggering 18 people worldwide per second. A crazy 1.55 million people per day are targeted by cyber criminals.
Whist we and many other companies suggest being vigilant with e-mail fraud, its seems the message just isn’t getting through. So lets look at some of the easiest ways to distinguish a real email from a fake.
- Spelling errors. Many companies will have templates for invoices or e-mail correspondence. Always check for spelling errors to give you a hint of whether its real.
- Always Check the from field. If a company has sent you an email, you would expect to see that companies email address in plain text. Not some stranger version of it. I.e.… If you get a message from Apple, it would say apple clearly in the email from field.
- Errors with grammar are good tell-tale signs of an attack. Often these threats come from non-English speaking countries and the translation can sometimes get lost and not make sense.
- The First Line. If the email says ‘Dear Customer’ or ‘Dear Friend’ there’s a good change its fake. Companies use your real name when they e-mail you. (If they e-mail you)
- If you’re not sure, don’t click. If you believe you have an e-mail that is not genuine, you can make contact with the company the e-mail is pretending to be from. In some cases, you may not have any accounts or reason for that company to be e-mailing you.
- Check the validity of the contact information in the e-mail. Its not uncommon for a scammer to remove genuine information to force a click to the suggested link in the email body.
- Hover your move over any links (without clicking on them) this will show you the destination of the link. If the link isn’t one directly to the company’s website, don’t click it.
- Don’t Unsubscribe from fake emails. A genuine email list should give you a place to unsubscribe. If you unsubscribe from a reputable company, they will remove you pretty quickly. If you unsubscribe from a fake e-mail, all you’re doing is verifying your email account is active.
- Companies won’t ask you for personal details over e-mail. Even when they call you they don’t ask for information. If they do, ask them where they’re from and tell them you’ll call them back. Ask for a reference number and call back on the publicly listed phone number Not a phone number provided by the caller.
- Run a reputable anti-virus or anti-malware program such as Malwarebytes. This will assist with less intrusions.