5 ways to spot fake emails

5 ways to spot fake emails

Tech

Now a days, People and individuals are often targeted by cybercriminals via emails. Those emails are created to look like they came from a legitimate bank, government agency, or  any organization. In these emails, the sender asks recipients to click on a link that takes them to a page where they will confirm personal data, account information, etc. They called this technique phishing. It is a way where hackers persuade you into providing your personal information or account data. Once your personal data is obtained then hackers create new user credentials or install malware (such as backdoors) into your system to steal sensitive data.

So, let us know 5 ways to spot or detect fake Email IDs

Legitimate Companies don’t request your Sensitive information via email

There are high number of chances, if you receive an unsolicited email from an institution that provides a link or attachment and asks you to provide sensitive information, it’s a scam. Almost all the companies will not send you an email asking for passwords, credit card information, credit scores, or tax numbers, nor will they send you a link from which you need to login.

The message is sent from a public email domain

No legitimate organisation will send emails from an address that ends ‘@gmail.com’. Many organisations, will have their own email domain and company accounts. For example, legitimate emails from Google will read ‘@google.com’. The best way to check an organisation’s domain name is to type the company’s name into a search engine. This makes detecting phishing seem easy, but cyber criminals have plenty of tricks up their sleeves to deceive you. Don’t just check the name of the person sending you the email. Check their email address by hovering your mouse over the ‘from’ address. Make sure no alterations (like additional numbers or letters) have been made. Check out the difference between these two email addresses as an example of altered emails: michelle@paypal.com, michelle@paypal23.com Sometimes companies make use of unique or varied domains to send emails, and some smaller companies use third party email providers.

Poorly Written Email

The most easiest way to recognize a fake email is bad grammar. An email from a legitimate organization should be well written. Little known fact – there’s actually a purpose behind bad syntax. Hackers generally are very smart. They prey on the uneducated believing them to be less observant and thus, easier targets.

Contains Suspicious Attachments or Links

Phishing emails come in many forms. We’ve focused on emails in this article, but you might also get scam text messages, phone calls or social media posts. But no matter how phishing emails are delivered, they all contain a payload. This will either be an infected attachment that you’re asked to download or a link to a bogus website. The purpose of these payloads is to capture sensitive information, such as login credentials, credit card details, phone numbers and account numbers. An infected attachment is a seemingly benign document that contains malware. When they open the attachment, they’ll see that the invoice isn’t intended for them, but it will be too late. The document unleashes malware on the victim’s computer, which could perform any number of nefarious activities. We advise that you never open an attachment unless you are fully confident that the message is from a legitimate party.

Embedded links redirect to unexpected websites

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. However, scammers include text that looks like it will take you to a legitimate website, but the hyperlinks they embed take you to a phishing or malicious website instead. Some links might lead users to a malware-laden website that auto-downloads malware onto users’ devices without their knowledge. 

How to tackle fake emails

Block the Sender

Click on the More (three vertical dots) option on the email. click on the “Report as spam” and “Block this user.”

Report the Email

If you receive a phishing email from someone impersonating a company, forward the email to that company’s official customer support email address to let them know.

Complaint to Cybercrime Authorities

If you have become a victim of cybercrime due to a fake or phishing email, register the complaint to respective cybercrime branch of your area. 

Conclusion

It doesn’t matter if you have the most secure security system in the world. One should understand and distinguish the fake emails and avoid cyber attacks.

-Nagasai Deepak

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