How to Identify Spam Email

Learning how to identify spam email is vital for keeping your information safe as spammers are becoming increasingly skilled at making malicious emails look completely legitimate by using realistic looking logos and email addresses.

As a general rule, do not download attachments or click links until you've determined who sent the email. Here are some additional common tricks:

Subject

Look out for an urgent or fear-inducing subject such as “your invoice is overdue”, or “your account will be closed!” Here are some example spam emails, notice they used an invoice and a bounced check:

Content

  • Emails that contain typo’s, misspellings, and poor grammar
  • Don’t address you by name, such as "Dear Valued Customer"
  • Ask for sensitive information like your social security number or bank account number
  • Contain a link for you to log into your bank account. Instead of clicking the link, either log in from your bank's website or give them a call.

Sender

Look for inconsistencies between who the email is supposed to be from, and what the email address reveals about the sender. In this example, the email is supposed to look like it's coming from the sales department at your company, but the sender's address is from tacotime.com:

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