Ever wonder if you should open that email? It seems a little fishy, but your curiosity is trying to win you over. Your Spam folder usually catches most scam-my emails, but more and more, scammers are finding ways to make it to the Inbox. There are ways to investigate the legitimacy of the email before even opening it. Check out these tips with examples from my own Inbox and Spam folder.
1. "Please always pray for me"
2. YOU WON! - Oh, wait...nope. I was just trying to scam you.
Please don't fall for this.
A. I do not know John Houdo.
B. I do not have 1.5 million USD nor did I enter a contest to win $1.5 million. (If you have to tell me it's US dollars, where are you from, or where do you think I am from?)
C. When I hover over John's name it gives me his email address which: does not contain his name, contains letters for a company I do not recognize and has a .ar extension which is from Argentina.
Evidence = DON'T OPEN IT
3. Regarding Business Orders, Inquiries, and False System Emails
4. Samantha gets a tip all to herself...
The red flag on the PURCHASE ORDER email is that it is not from a company I have purchased from or has purchased from me. Also, when I hover over the sender, it shows another international extention (.au) and the name does not match the sender.
Evidence = DO NOT OPEN IT
The Webmail Admin email is a sneaky one. Yes, my email is called Webmail. Yes, my email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. Yes, there are times when emails don't go through and an error message is returned to me. But, wait! The returned email errors never look like this. They don't come from Webmail Admin. My email provider is not el-nacional.com.
Evidence = DO NOT OPEN IT!
This email looks legit upon first glance. The subject contains a city I do business in, on a topic I may be interested in as a business owner, at the time of year many Chamber of Commerce groups are putting together information packets for the year. Samantha's email address is even from a well known email provider - aol.com. (It is forwarded, so that is the first clue. How did Samantha know to forward this to me and who sent it to her?) This happened to be automatically added to my Spam folder, so the system didn't like it from the beginning. But, let's just say it was in my Inbox and I clicked on it.
Samantha wants me to give her money to advertise in the booklet. Still looks pretty legitimate. She even has an image to show you an example of your ad. (Never open images from unknown email senders! They can carry malicious content.) The add can only be reserved by calling the toll free number below. There is not an email address to find out more information. I haven't heard of CW Promotions before, so I Googled it.
Evidence = DO NOT OPEN IT! (In this case, I already did, so I will just delete it and run my antivirus and malware scan.)
5. Then, there is the FBI.
Really? This was also in my Spam folder, but I was curious, and for the purpose of this blog post, I investigated Mr. "jbcjames FBI Director".
I Googled smgov.net and it led me to the City of Santa Monica's website. I don't think that email address is from the FBI.
Evidence = DO NOT OPEN IT!
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