How To Spot A Fake Email

Using Digital Signatures In Email

How To Spot A Fake Email?

Digitally signing an email shows a recipient that the email they have received is coming from a legitimate source.

In the image above, you can see the senders verified identity clearly presented within the email. Its easy to see how this helps us to catch fakers from real senders and avoid falling victim to phishing

In addition to proving the source of the email, digitally signing an email also provides:

  • Non-repudiation: since an individuals personal certificate was used to sign the email, they cannot later claim that it wasnt them who signed it

  • Message integrity: when the recipient opens the email, their email client checks that the contents of the email match what was in there when the signature was applied. Even the slightest change to the original document would cause this check to fail.

For more information on how to digitally sign an email and what a valid or invalid S/MIME Digital Certificate looks like, please watch my webinar on Email Security Using Digital Signatures and Encryption.

Watch Out For Uncommon Uses Of The Email Bcc Field

In some emails, you will find your email address listed in the Bcc field instead of the recipient lines. Although theres technically nothing wrong with keeping the recipient in the Bcc field, it unusual for organizations to do when communicating with customers. For example, no legit company would send a blind carbon copy email to verify your account information or to request customers to download the transaction receipts. Why? Because they would reach out to you directly.

So, if you see your email address in the Bcc field instead of in front of To: or Send To: its a good sign that the email is a fake.

Style: Free Inaccurate Varying Speeds

Create a free email address with a free ISP like Yahoo or Google.

Email the address from your fake account. Send the message and wait a couple minutes to see if the message bounces. If it bounces, its a fake address.

Why do you occasionally have to wait one day? It depends on the server. Sometimes hard bounces come back instantly and other times they dont show up until one day.

This strategy is popular because its free and requires virtually no technical knowledge. However, its less accurate than similar strategies.

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The Subject Lines Are Disturbing

Phishing messages start with subject lines as these are what make people click or delete emails right away. And in 2020, phishers knew pretty well what to write to make people click. KnowBe4 has identified the most popular subject lines in 2020 as:

  • Password Check Required Immediately
  • Scheduled Server Maintenance — No Internet Access
  • De-activation of ] in process
  • Please review the leave law requirements
  • You have been added to a team in Microsoft Teams
  • Company Policy Notification: COVID-19 – Test & Trace Guidelines

As you can see, phishers were exploiting peoples fear for their health and the uncertainty of working remotely in their subject lines. But always remember: if your gut says somethings phishy, it probably is.

Your Gut Instincts Tell You The Email Is Fake

5 Best Ways to Spot a Fake Email  InfoSecWise

When something doesnt seem right, trust your instincts. They are generally right. You might not have figured it out, but your subconscious mind might already know that what youre seeing is not right or seems off in some way.

An example can be when you receive an email from your boss at an odd hour asking you to make immediate payment to somebody. If your boss has a habit of doing this often, you might think of going ahead after making a phone call to him. However, if your boss is behaving weirdly, he might not really be the one who sent you the email. If you cannot confirm it with him personally, its best not to do anything until you do. Truth is, as the saying goes, its better to be safe than sorry.

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What Is A Phishing Scam

Phishing when a cyber criminal contacts you out of the blue and convinces you to hand over your personal information or money or gets you to download a virus that infects your computer.

Phishing is a play on the word ‘fishing’ and usually happens over email, but can also happen through texts, social media or phone calls

Four Steps To Protect Yourself From Phishing

1. Protect your computer by using security software. Set the software to update automatically so it can deal with any new security threats.

2. Protect your mobile phone by setting software to update automatically. These updates could give you critical protection against security threats.

3. Protect your accounts by using multi-factor authentication. Some accounts offer extra security by requiring two or more credentials to log in to your account. This is called multi-factor authentication. The additional credentials you need to log in to your account fall into two categories:

  • Something you have like a passcode you get via an authentication app or a security key.
  • Something you are like a scan of your fingerprint, your retina, or your face.

Multi-factor authentication makes it harder for scammers to log in to your accounts if they do get your username and password.

4. Protect your data by backing it up.Back up your data and make sure those backups arent connected to your home network. You can copy your computer files to an external hard drive or cloud storage. Back up the data on your phone, too.

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In other news, billionaire Jeff Bezos is taking a teenager to space because an original passenger couldnt make it.

Facebook allegedly fired over 50 employees who took advantage of their data access to spy on users and even read private messages.

And, if you have an iPhone that’s older than the iPhone X you’ll miss out on some of the new iOS 15 features.

What Are Common Email Threats

How to Spot Any Spoofed & Fake Email (Ultimate Guide)

Some of the common types of email threats that use fake emails to attack the users are Phishing, Whaling, Key loggers, Spear phishing, Ransomware, etc. Most of the organization considers email as their primary mode of communication. All legitimate companies and organizations have certain standards for generating their emails but the emails used in case of email attacks normally dont match these standards. There are always some loopholes in their message which helps the user to spot the fake emails. In the upcoming section, we will learn tricks on how to identify fake emails.

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Other Examples Of Harmful Emails

Unfortunately, there are many unscrupulous individuals who will try to trick or scam others over the internet. As weve seen, it is common to see criminals send emails posing as reputable companies in an attempt to scam the recipient.

There are many ways a scammer may intend to do this, but here are some of the most common types of fraudulent emails:

Pay Attention: Dont Ignore Unusual Spelling And Grammatical Errors

If an email contains many grammatical, spelling, or punctuation errors, its a red flag. Legit companies follow strict email etiquette and editorial standards. Although some small typos can happen on occasion, its uncommon to see multiple mistakes in a single message. Never ignore such errors.

See the example below that highlights several examples of how to tell if an email is fake. Although you can spot that the email is fake from the senders unusual email address, there are other red flags, too. Check out the spelling and punctuation errors . A reputable company like Apple doesnt send an email with so many glaring errors.

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The Security Downside Of Email

How to Tell If an Email Is Fake: 7 Tips to Spot a Fake Email

Were all getting more and more emails every dayespecially as work-from-home orders have forced more conversations into the virtual space. Hackers realize this and are taking advantage of it. Phishing and spoofing emails are designed to look like legitimate emails from a familiar sender and entice you to click an innocent-looking link that actually downloads malware…and they’re only getting better at it.

Thankfully, these emails have some telltale signs you can spotif you know what to look for.

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How To Spot Fake Covid

Posted: Jan 30, 2022 / 09:31 AM EST / Updated: Jan 30, 2022 / 09:31 AM EST

FRESNO, Calif. The rise in the demand for COVID-19 testing has also prompted a rise in the number of fraudulent test centers, according to the Fresno County Department of Public Health.

A warning issued by the department on Wednesday says pop-up testing sites on street corners, parking lots, and shopping centers can be unregulated and could lead to fraudulent activities like identity theft.

It feels like a game of whack-a-mole, honestly, said Fresno Countys Interim Health Officer Dr. Rais Vohra. Theres just so much pressure to get tested, for better or for worse, the market is going to meet that pressure and that demand.

Health officials suggest asking a few specific questions at the testing site to help you figure out if it is legitimate or not. That includes asking:

  • To see medical credentials.
  • Which laboratory test is being used, either PCR or Rapid Test.
  • Where the test is being processed and if it is being sent to a lab.
  • How the results will be reported.

If theyre connected to a medical provider, thats a really good indication of a credible resource, added Joe Prado with Fresno County Department of Public Health.

Health department officials say fraudulent testing sites can also be identified by the questions they ask you, or even where they are set up. That includes:

Ignore Links And Attachments

Computer viruses can find their way onto your computer by scammers tricking you into installing them. For example, ransomware threatens to take action on your computer – such as deleting files – unless you pay a ransom.

If you suspect an email might be from a scammer, do not click on any links or download any attachments featured in the scam email as these may download a computer virus onto your computer.

Make sure you stay security-savvy and ensure your antivirus software is always up to date, as this will provide an extra layer of protection if you have unknowingly downloaded a computer virus after clicking a link or downloading an attachment.

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What To Do If You Suspect A Phishing Attack

If you get an email or a text message that asks you to click on a link or open an attachment, answer this question: Do I have an account with the company or know the person that contacted me?

If the answer is No, it could be a phishing scam. Go back and review the tips in How to recognize phishing and look for signs of a phishing scam. If you see them, report the message and then delete it.

If the answer is Yes, contact the company using a phone number or website you know is real. Not the information in the email.Attachments and links can install harmfulmalware.

Spelling Errors And Mistakes

How to spot a fake email

Scammers will often intentionally or unintentionally make spelling mistakes in their emails. Fake URLs are a common site, such as vitalittycbd.co.uk rather than vitalitycbd.co.uk in an attempt to trick people into fake websites. On the other hand, these scammers are often not copywriters or use English as a second language and will make simple spelling errors that are a good sign the email is not genuine.

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How To Report A Phishing Scam

  • If youve been the victim of scam and have sent money then straight away call your bank and get the payments stopped.
  • Report the scam to Action Fraud on or use their online reporting tool
  • Most email providers have a report function where you can mark the email as junk then once in your junk folders you can mark it as a phishing scam, which will then report the sender.
  • If you think youve been targeted by a scam, you should report it so it can be investigated. You can do this through the Financial Conduct Authority website using their reporting form

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