Monday, May 1, 2023

How to Spot a Scam Email Message

Email scams have been around since the early days of the internet, and unfortunately, they are more prevalent today. These fraudulent emails are designed to trick people into handing over sensitive information or money, and they can come in many different forms. Here are some signs that you may have received a scam email and what you can do to protect yourself.

The sender is unfamiliar or suspicious
One of the first signs of a scam email is that the sender is unfamiliar or suspicious. The email may come from a company or individual that you have never heard of, or it may use a generic email address like "" Scammers often use fake email addresses to make their emails appear more legitimate, so it's important to be wary of any emails that come from unknown or suspicious sources.

The sender "masks" their actual email address
When viewing a message that was sent to a masked email address, the description for the sender's name may be one that you recognize (Your Bank, Your Utility Provider, IRS, etc.). Move your mouse to hover over the sender's name and the actual email address will pop up. If looks unusual (i.e. or you don't recognize the sender, then it is likely a scam email message.

The message contains spelling and grammar errors
Another sign of a scam email is that the message contains spelling and grammar errors. Scammers often use automated tools to create their emails, which can result in mistakes and typos. If you notice errors in the email, it's a good indication that it's not from a legitimate source.

The email asks for personal information
Scammers often use emails to try to steal personal information from their victims. If an email asks for personal information like your Social Security number, bank account number, or password, it's likely a scam. Legitimate companies will never ask you to provide this type of information over email.

The email contains urgent or threatening language
Scammers often use urgent or threatening language to try to pressure their victims into taking action. If an email contains phrases like "act now" or "urgent action required," it's a good indication that it's a scam. Legitimate companies will rarely use this type of language in their emails.

The email includes suspicious attachments or links
Finally, if an email includes suspicious attachments or links, it's likely a scam. Scammers often use attachments or links to install malware or direct victims to fake websites that are designed to steal their information. If you receive an email with an attachment or link, it's important to be cautious and avoid clicking on it.

What to do if you receive a scam email
If you receive a scam email, the best thing to do is to delete it or mark it as "spam" immediately. Do not respond to the email, and do not click on any attachments or links. If you have already clicked on a suspicious link or provided personal information, it's important to take steps to protect yourself. Change your passwords, keep your virus and malware protection active and up to date, monitor your credit card and bank accounts for suspicious activity, and consider contacting the authorities if you believe you have been the victim of a scam.

It's important to be vigilant when it comes to email scams. By knowing the signs of a scam email and taking steps to protect yourself, you can reduce your risk of falling victim to these fraudulent schemes. Remember, if something seems too good to be true or if an email raises suspicion, it's always best to err on the side of caution and delete the email without opening it.

Written with the aid of ChatGPT!

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David Schuchman

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