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Identifying fake (phishing) emails

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Phishing emails are emails that pretend to be from a legitimate company, they are sent to try and acquire sensitive information from you such as usernames, passwords, personal information or bank/credit card details

 

I have highlighted below some of the areas to look for to work out if these emails are real or fake

 

If you are still unsure then do not click any links or reply to the email, but forward it to me and I will check for you

 

You can also find recent examples of spam that myself or my customers have received here

 

phishing1

 

A

 

Check the email address of the sender, as this is often incorrect and a good sign that the email is not genuine, although this alone cannot be taken to identify fake emails so always look for other clues as well

 

e.g. the above email shows ..@ppal.com, this is not the correct address for PayPal, it should be ..@paypal.co.uk

 

B

Check the To field, if it is blank rather than showing your full email address then again this is a sign that the email may not be genuine

C

 

Genuine emails usually address you by name rather than Dear member or Dear user

 

e.g. Dear Darren Rose is how PayPal addresses me when they send me any emails

 

D

 

Check that any links in the email are not fake - and that they are not going to take you to an infected website rather than the proper website

 

If you hover your mouse pointer over the links (DO NOT CLICK THEM), it will show you the link, and in most cases it would be obvious that it is not genuine

 

e.g. In the above email the links show as below - and you can see it is trying to take you to http://alijamalco.com/pay/

 

phishing2

Whereas a genuine email from PayPal would link to https://www.paypal.com/uk/......

 

phishing3

 

E

Check for spelling mistakes, bad grammar and incorrect use of the English language, this is often a good sign that the email is not genuine