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How To Spot A Phishing Email

Parker Byrd

Phishing emails can be very dangerous for yourself or your business. Through these attacks, a hacker will have access to your personal information, passwords and then he can either use it to cause harm or sell it to the highest bidder. You need to find the right way to identify a phishing email, and that alone can be troublesome for most people nowadays. While phishing testing is an excellent way to identify risk and create awareness, these tips are important to be able to spot real phishing attacks in your inbox. With that in mind, here are the signs you need to be looking for when it comes to spotting a phishing email scam.

Requesting sensitive information via email

Serious, professional businesses will never ask for sensitive information via email. If you receive an email that requires you to provide personal information online, then that’s most likely a phishing attack. You don’t want to send your credit score, credit card info, passwords or tax numbers online without knowing who you are dealing with. Most of the time, companies will require you to go to their offices if they need sensitive information.

They address you by your username and not your full name

When you see that, it’s clear that you are dealing with a phishing attack. Either they use that approach, or they call you “dear account holder” or anything similar. A serious business will always know your name and provide you with a personalized email.

Spelling mistakes

You will notice that a lot of phishing emails have spelling mistakes. Scammers don’t really pay a lot of attention to grammar, or they barely know English. Which is why you can figure out whether you’re dealing with a real or fake message via spelling alone. 

Professional businesses don’t force you to go to their website

Phishing attackers need to make you click a link to gain access over your personal data. However, a legit company rarely links you to their website. They might invite you to visit it yourself, but you will never be forced to visit them, which is something to keep in mind.

The domain email is not right

You should always hover the email address to see where it comes from. If they say that the email is from Costco but the email address is a very strange, long one or from Yahoo or Gmail, then it’s obviously a scam and you need to just ignore it as quickly as possible.

Sending unsolicited attachments

Don’t open attachments from people you don’t know. On top of that, legit businesses will never send you unsolicited attachments. You want to be sure that you’re dealing with a legit, professional company before you download anything. If there’s even the simplest sign of a scam, just ignore it and move on, or report it if you can.


Phishing emails can be easy to spot, provided that you’re not in a rush. A lot of people and businesses get infected via phishing attacks because they rush to open emails and don’t study their structure and information. More often than not, a phishing email will stand out as a scam, all you need to do is to follow the guidelines above to prevent any issues.

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