When looking at the subject of fake emails, we’re referring to hoax emails that are sent to defraud you or trick you into doing something you shouldn’t.
Emails like this, you may also know as phishing emails. Its a form of cybercrime and is not always easy to spot as cyber criminals get more resources to make their emails look like the real deal.
So, if you’re wondering how to spot a fake email — or, more specifically, how to tell if an email is fake or real — here is how:
- The Domain Name : No legitimate organization will send emails from an address that ends ‘@gmail.com’. Generic email domains include but are not limited to Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail, and such. These domains are free to anyone who wants an email address. Always check the address it has come from before even deciding to read any further.
- Misspelt words or Domain Names: Some attackers are smart enough to not use a generic email address. They buy domain names that look similar to the legitimate company’s domain that they wish to impersonate. When reading through, make a point of focusing on the grammar. A large majority of phishing emails will have grammar mistakes or language that doesn’t quite add up. Not something you see from a genuine company email.
- Suspicious Links : Another characteristic of a fake email is unexpected redirect links. The embedded links given in the email must take you to the same web page as written in the link. Number one rule – don’t click on any link that looks suspicious! If in doubt, call up the company you think the email is from to confirm. Once clicked, you may have opened yourself up to fraud and hacking and no one needs that headache!
- A sense of Urgency: Scammers will try to trigger emotional responses like anger, shock, empathy, panic, curiosity, etc. By doing so, they’re more likely to trick their targets into doing something they normally wouldn’t do. Take your time with reading and assessing the email before any action is taken.
Cybercriminals are coming up with innovative ways to entice people to divulge important personal information. As such, we must verify all the details of an email sender before taking any concrete action, such as a transfer of funds or sharing personal details. Therefore, knowing how to tell if an email is fake or real is crucial.
If in doubt, check it out.