How do I know if an email is fake?
Email servers have gotten pretty advanced and get better and better about filtering spam. But when a suspicious email gets through, how do you know if it's real or fake. As email servers advance, spammers have to find new ways to get around the filters.
Let's examine a sample email that was caught in my spam box. Had it not been caught, here's what I look at to decipher.
What is the subject of the email?
In this case, 'hi there' could be someone needing support, or just emailing with a general question.
Does the from address match the name of the signature?
Here, you can see the From Name is Elena and the email is firstname.lastname@example.org This is an immediate red flag
What does the body of the email contain?
It's a nice little note from a 'girl' that wants to know more about me. One important fact here is that 'she's' asking me to email to another address email@example.com Another red flag and not because it's a .ru address but because it doesn't match up with the From address
Other things that signal red flags are emails that tell me how I've got a dead relative that I never knew and they were wealthy beyond belief and I need to reply to claim my fortune. Anytime the money seems too easy, or your gut tells you it's wrong, IT'S. A. SCAM. For these, I recommend deleting them. If you reply or if you unsubscribe, they'll know you're active within your email and simply try other means to get you to reply. Or, since they know you're active in your email, they'll possibly sell your email address and you'll end up with more spam.
If you absolutely must take it a step further, you can learn how to trace an email on our site by using our email analyzer tool.