How to identify Spoof/Phishing emails .What is a phishing email?
Fraudulent emails (sometimes called “phishing”) are emails claiming to be from a company or bank. The most popular are usually from eBay, PayPal, Barclays Bank, etc. These emails will then contain a web link, if you click on this link you will be directed to the login page and asked to enter your details.
Most of these scammers do a lot to try to get your details, most phishing emails contain links to identical websites and trick users into entering their personal information. . If you submit your information through one of these phishing sites, the scammer has all of your information and can commit crimes using your identity.
How do they get my email address?
You may be wondering how scammers get your address or know you are a member of a particular bank or organization. Often it’s just the luck of the scammers. They don’t usually target individuals, but send thousands of phishing emails to randomly generated email addresses in the hopes of only a few succeeding. They also scour the web for valid addresses they can use and exchange that information with.
If you’ve ever posted on an internet forum or published something on the web, chances are your address is somewhere just waiting to be found. If you’ve been a victim, your address is often added to the “easy victim” list, and then you run the risk of getting even more scams.
How do I identify these emails?
Here are simple tests you can perform on any email that you suspect is spoofed. Your email can only pass the test if it passes ALL FOUR tests. If your email passes all four tests, you can be 99.9% sure it’s authentic. If your email passes all four tests, we also recommend checking the “More Tips” section just to verify that your email is genuine.
If your email fails
If your email fails ONE of the four tests, the email is spoofed and unanswered and should be deleted from your computer immediately. Even if your email fails the test, I recommend checking out the “More tips” page for other great ways to spot phishing emails.
If you still have doubts Unless you are 100% sure that your email is genuine, DO NOT click on any link in the email. Contact the company in question (see the “report a fake” page) and ask them to confirm the email is real or fake.
Test 1 – To whom is the email sent?
See how your email address looks. Most parodies will say things like “Dear eBay users”. This is the first thing you should look for in a phishing email. Any email that is not sent to you by name is a fake. Ebay, PayPal and banks always call you by the name you registered on their site, they NEVER send an email saying
“Dear customer”, “dear member” etc.
If your email doesn’t get to you, it’s a farce! If your email was sent to you, proceed with the next check to see if it was a phishing email. Some of the more advanced spoofing messages have started to include your name or email address instead of the generic “Dear Member” or “Dear User”. So even if your email is sent to you, I highly recommend doing the remaining 3 tests.
Test 2 – Where does the link go?
Most phishing emails will contain a link asking you to verify your information. You can quickly tell if your email is fake by hovering over the link. When your mouse is over the link, look at the bottom left corner of the screen and you will see the “link destination”. The destination of a fake link will usually look like this:
Compare this with a real eBay link:
And you can see the difference. You can easily check if your email is fake by looking at the first part of the destination of the link, if the destination is a combination of numbers (102.382.5 .23) or a link link like the one in my fake link above, it’s most likely your email. is fake.
Any non-scam link will have the company name in the beginning of the link, for example:
http://cgi.ebay.co.uk http://cgi.ebay.com http://cgi. paypal.com
Please Note: Some fake links will contain the words “eBay” or “PayPal” at the end of the link. These are also parodies!
All real emails will contain only the company name in the first part of the link; after http://. If you’re still not sure if you have a phishing email, move on to the next check.
Test 3 – Who actually emailed you?
This test may seem a bit confusing, but don’t worry, it’s not as hard as it looks. What we’re going to do is find out where the email is coming from. Most people don’t know this, but you can track the origin of your emails in most email programs. To do this, we need to display “FULL message headers”, which is how it is done in the following email programs. If your plan is not listed here, please contact your email provider for instructions:
Hotmail 1. Click “Options” 2. Click “Mail Visibility Settings” 3 3rd option can be used to view header settings, select “Full” in checkboxes . Click “OK” to save your Outlook Express settings
1. Right click on the email and select “Properties” 2. Select the “Details” tab
Now we can see the message header, this is how you identify the impostor:
Take a look at the section of the header where the content is. content “Received from”. If the email comes from someone other than the sender