How to spot a dodgy email.

Spread the love
How to spot dodgy emails.

I have never thought too much about it until one of my clients forwarded me an email he had received from a person supposedly trying to steal my business. I had to look twice and realised that the entity was actually referring to an old domain my client had until it was stolen and cybersquatted.

You can view the cyber-squatted domain here: www.firstphaseelectricalwales.co.uk you will find it points to a clothing site yet again.

You can ready the whole three part cybersqualtting incident here:

Futhermore the domain supposedly changed hands in July of this year but my client is still getting emails this tells me the same entity is still using the domain name and still has my client’s data. Had the domain really have gone to a thirdparty they would not have had access to my clients data or email address. My client’s email that he received today was to his gmail email not his company email meaning how would the new owner know about my clients gmail email unless they were one and the same entity?

So when you open these emails two things that can happen if you reply to such emails they could either be malware infected and will be embed on your computer or you may get lots of spam messages whereby the sender will be then able to use your email address and spam other people.

Another way cyber criminals work is by using undisclosed email addresses this way they can send bulk emails. An undisclosed email may be used if you previously have had an email subscription and your email has be leaked or sold to a thirdparty that may then want to send out spam emails in bulk.

This goes against your privacy protection and you have to remember that email lists are worth a lot of money to some people so it stands to reason that they can be sold and misused.

How to spot a dodgy email.

This is an actual email I received to my private email account.

Apple know how to spell and they use their company name to send out information.

Check For Misspellings

The first and most obvious tip-off is misspellings. In the header above, the name of the company is spelled incorrectly, and the likelihood that a big corporation would misspell its own name is pretty unlikely.

Also look out for subdomain names such as info@subdomain.company.com No legitimate company would send out emails from their subdomain. Subdomains are the extension to a the originators website and are mainly used for blogs: https://ukdomainbrokers.ukwebsitedesigners.co.uk/

So for all intent and puposes the above is an example of my sub domain and I would not send out an email from info@ukdomainbrokers.ukwebsitedesigners.co.uk. I would however send one out from info@ukwebsitedesigners.co.uk

IP Address

Another quick trick is to look up the IP address the message came from. If it’s in a different country than the company, it’s probably fake.

Received From

The “Received” line tells you where the email originated from. If the email is actually from who it says it’s from, it would probably come from the company’s website. In the email above, the website the email came from has nothing to do with the company it says it’s from. If however the email mimicks your email the sender is hiding their identity.

Reply To

Same goes for the “Reply To” field. You can tell the email address has been spoofed because the “Reply To” address doesn’t match the “From” address.

Spoofing:

Email spoofing the process of disguising the original senders identity by creating email messages with a forged sender email address. The core email protocols do not have any mechanism for authentication, making it common for spam and phishing emails to use such spoofing to mislead or even prank the recipient about the origin of the message.

Final Notes.

Always check the recipients email. If you do not know or were not expecting anything from anyone DO NOT OPEN EMAIL ATTACHMENTS.

If you get emails from web designer telling you your website is s##t do ask your current web designers to send an audit report of your website. Also if the sender is sending you an email from a gmail, hotmail or msn account without a company signature in the footer of the email this is reason for alarm bells to ring.

DO NOT USE OFFSHORE WEBSITE DESIGNERS.

SUPPORT LOCAL BUSINESSES!

Do not reply to anyone that has a suspicious email address, especially if it is a long thread of letters and numbers that do not resemble a person or company.

Always check email addresses from the sender.

Lastly always mark emails that have landed in your inbox as ‘report phishing’ rather than simply deleting them as the email client will block this email from their servers to stop other people falling victim.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *