Scammers are everywhere. From emails to telephone calls, they’ve gotten incredibly creative in their ways of taking your information and money. No matter how tight your security is on your computer, scammers always seem to find a way around it. If you have an email address, you’re probably familiar with the typical spam emails; the type that says you’ve inherited a certain amount of money that’s being held in a bank. However, it’s becoming more common for scammers to send fake messages using familiar email addresses. This is called a spoof email.
What’s a Spoof Email?
For the most part, a spoof email looks like a real email. In most cases, the email appears to be sent from an email you’re familiar with. These scammers use the addresses of your friends, family, coworkers, and sometimes your own email to get your information, payment, or spread malicious software.
How to Identify a Spoof Email
There’s really no way to avoid receiving a spoof email, as blocking the address would prevent the actual owner of the email from contacting you. However, there are ways to protect yourself from this type of email.
Be Cautious and Analyze the Subject Line
You can usually tell when an email is fake. Often, the subject usually states something suspicious and out of the ordinary. Even if the email appears to be from someone you know, if you get an uneasy feeling about the subject, it’s best not to open it. If you’re still unsure whether the email is real or not, contact the person directly; whether through a phone call or by sending a new email to them. This way, you’ll be able to confirm the email wasn’t from them.
Look at the Writing Style
Different scam campaigns have different styles of written content. A lot of scam emails lack proper grammar and have odd sentence structure. For instance, some emails will contain numbers as substitutes for letters. Overall, the email is quite vague and will read rather jarringly, unlike the emails you’d receive from people you’re familiar with.
Be Wary of Threatening Messages
Along with spam emails, those who send out spoof emails aren’t afraid to “blackmail” you if they don’t receive payment. These people claim that they have some sort of leverage over you, when they don’t. The objective of these emails is to make you panic and respond right away, but by doing so, you’re giving the sender access to your information. In some cases, you may receive emails that prompt you to send personal information like your bank information. Be aware, no bank will send an email asking you for such sensitive information.
If you ever receive an email seemingly from a familiar address, with an odd subject line and suspicious content, don’t respond. To keep your computer, your privacy, and yourself safe, don’t open any attachments or links that come along with the email. If you’re still unsure of what to do if you receive a spam or spoof email, contact email@example.com and we’ll help you protect yourself and your data.