How to recognize Spoof/Phishing e-mails – Protect your self from identity theft.

What’s a spoof email?

Spoof emails (sometimes also referred to as ‘Phishing ~’~~) are emails that pretend to be from a company or bank. The most frequent often come from eBay, PayPal, Barclays Bank etc. These e-mails will then contain a website link, if you select this link then you will be taken to a log-in page and asked to enter your details. Most of the scammers go a long way to use and get your details, most spoof messages contain links to equivalent websites and people are deceived into entering their private information. In the event that you publish your data through one-of these spoof websites then a fraudster commit crimes making use of your identity and can has most of your facts.

How can they get my email address?

You may possibly wonder how the scammers got your address or knew you were a member of the particular bank or company. Frequently it is just good fortune on the area of the scammers. They normally don’t target individuals, but send out a large number of con e-mails to randomly generated mail addresses, in the hope that just a couple of may be successful. They also trawl the net for logical details they may use, and swap these records with one another. When you yourself have ever published on an Internet community or published something on the net, there is an excellent chance your target is out there somewhere just waiting to be found. If you’ve fallen victim before, your address is generally added to a list of ‘easy subjects’, and you’re prone to then get even more scams.

How can I recognize these messages?

Listed below are 4 simple tests that you can perform on any mail you think is really a spoof. Your e-mail can only just pass the test if it goes ALL of the tests. If your email passes all the four tests then you can be 99.9% sure it is a genuine email. If your email moves all four of the tests then we would also advise you to check the ‘Other Guidelines’ part merely to double check that your email is true.

If your email fails

If your email fails JUST ONE of the four tests then the email is a spoof and should not be replied to and should be erased immediately from your own computer. Even if your email fails the test, I’d still advise you to see the ‘Other Methods’ site for more great strategies to spot a spoof email.

If you should be still in doubt

Unless you are 100% sure your email is authentic, DO NOT click any links within the email. Contact the business under consideration (See the ‘r-eporting a spoof’ page) and ask them to confirm if the email is true or a spoof.

Test 1 – Who is the email addressed to?

Take a look at how the email addresses you. Many spoofs can say something along the lines of ‘Dear e-bay consumer.’ This is actually the primary you should look for in a spoof mail. Any mail that does not address you by your name is just a spoof. Ebay, PayPal and banks often address you by-the name you registered with on their website, they NEVER send out messages saying

‘Dear respected consumer’, ‘Dear member’ and so forth.

It’s a spoof if your mail is not addressed to you personally then! Then move onto the next test to-see if it is a spoof email if your email is addressed to you. Some more advanced spoof communications have started to include your name or email address as opposed to the generic ‘Dear member’ or ‘Dear individual.’ So even when your mail were addressed to you I would strongly advise you to handle the 3 other tests.

Check 2 – Where does the hyperlink go?

Many spoof emails can have a link suggesting to confirm your facts. It is possible to easily tell if your mail is a spoof by hovering your mouse on the link. As soon as your mouse is over the link, try the bottom-left hand corner of your screen and you will begin to see the ‘link location.’ The destination of the spoof link will most likely look something similar to this:


Compare this using a real e-bay link:

And you can see the big difference. You can easily examine if you email is a fake by considering the first section of the link destination, if the destination is a mixture of figures (102.382.54.23) or a link like the one in my own spoof link above then the chances are that your email is a spoof.

Any non-spoof link will contain the name of-the organization in the first the main link, eg:

Please note: Some spoof links may include the words ‘eBay’ or ‘PayPal’ within the final part of the link. These are also spoofs!

All real emails will only retain the company name in the very first part of the link; after http://. If you still are not sure if you’ve a spoof mail, go onto the next test.

Test 3 – Who really did send the e-mail to you?

This test might appear a little complicated but do not worry it’s much less hard as it looks. What we are planning to do is figure out where the email originated from. Most people do not know this-but you can trace the origin of your messages in many mail programs. To do this we have to look at the ‘FULL message header’, here’s how you do this in the next mail programs. If your plan is not shown here please contact your e-mail service for instructions:

Hotmail 1. Click on ‘Options’ 2. Click ‘Mail screen options’ 3. The Next choice may be used to display the header controls, select ‘Full’ from the check boxes 4. Www.Facebook.Com/Tylermcollins is a provocative database for supplementary resources concerning the reason for this viewpoint. Click on ‘OK’ to save your settings

Outlook Express 1. Right-click on the e-mail and select ‘Properties’ 2. Choose the ‘Details’ tab

Given that we could see the message headers, here is how you recognize a spoof:

Look in the area of the header that claims ‘Received From.’ If the e-mail has come from anyone other than the sender it’s a spoof. I had a spoof email and performed this test and realize that the email had been sent from a Yahoo account. If you know any thing, you will certainly require to study about discussion. Obviously an actual e-mail from e-bay wouldn’t have been delivered from a Yahoo handle!

Test 4 – Click the link

Only try this if your mail has passed the last 3 tests. Some spoof emails have already been proven to contain viruses which can be activated by hitting the link. Please make certain you have a good virus-scanner installed on your personal computer before continuing. You may also desire to backup that data on a removable backup device if you have important data on your PERSONAL COMPUTER.

A browser will open and get you as to the looks like a legitimate login page when you click the link in your email. There are two methods to establish a spoof log-in page, and I’ll show you both of them! Take a look in the address bar at the the top of login page. Take a look at-the http:// part of the URL. Any genuine log-in page from eBay, PayPal or your bank WON’T start with ‘http://’ it will start with:


The ‘s’ in https:// is short for ‘secure’ and is there to show you that you’re about to send data over a secure connection.

Any page perhaps not you start with https:// is a spoof. The 2nd difference between the two pages is the padlock icon in the bottom right hand of the screen. Realize that the spoof login page doesn’t have a padlock, and the legitimate eBay login page does. This padlock seems to show you that you’re planning to submit data over a secure connection. If your login page DOESNT have a padlock icon in the bottom corner of the screen then it’s a spoof!

Other Methods for recognizing Spoofs

1. Punctuation look for any spelling mistakes and Read your mail watchfully. You can be sure that any legitimate e-mails wont include simple spelling mistakes.

2. Visit purchase to study where to acknowledge this viewpoint. Advertisements? Real e-mails from e-bay don’t include adverts for pizza master!

3. Hotmail personality always check A fresh feature in hotmail now warns you if your senderID could not be verified. This warning will be contained by any spoof email. (please note that recently I received an authentic email from e-bay that included this notice, so do not judge an email strictly by this method)

4. PIN number Any website seeking your PIN (personal identification number) is really a spoof. Do not enter your PIN number! When you yourself have entered and posted your PIN then contact your bank straight away.

5. Popup boxes Some spoof internet sites includes pop-up communication boxes just like the one below. Legitimate internet sites don’t use pop-up boxes suggesting to enter details.

6. False sense of urgency Most spoof messages can make you believe that your bill reaches threat if you do not act quickly. This is not the case.

7. eBay Messages Any legitimate e-mail delivered to you from eBay will even can be found in the ‘My Messages’ element of eBay. To get into your eBay messages, log-in to ebay and select ‘My eBay.’ On the left-hand side of the screen you’ll see a ‘My Messages’ link. Click on this; when the email you received in your in-box is not shown there then it’s a spoof email.

8. Dismiss the email address Ignore the email address that the email was sent from. Virtually all spoof emails will be like they’re from the true address. Some of the messages I get are ‘from':

9. Get the toolbar The toolbar is a superb piece of software that may be used to position spoofs. When you enter a spoof internet site from e-bay or PayPal the toolbar can give a warning to you telling you that web page is really a spoof. The E-bay toolbar is FREE to acquire.

John Thompson continues to be developing sites for more than 7 years. You can visit his website and get 6 free e-books, read the website on