Regardless of your job, lifestyle, ethnicity, and socio-economic status, you probably send and receive emails daily. In this day and age, it is nearly impossible to go without online communication. Sending emails is a great way to reach a customer service representative, invite your friends to a party, or confirm an order, among other things. 

There are two types of fake email addresses. One type is addresses that simply cannot be reached. The other is emails that are specifically set up by spammers to scam you. Research from 2018 shows that 1 in every 101 emails is spam or phishing. Can you tell the difference between a real email and spam? We can help you! 

What is Phishing?

Phishing emails are the ones you should watch out for! They are sent with the intention of scamming you out of money or coercing you into giving up sensitive information. Surely, you’ve seen the odd email promising you millions of dollars if you just click on the link. By now you’re probably a pro at spotting them. 

As technology advances, our mailboxes continue to do most of the work for us. Therefore, most of these emails end up in the spam folder. However, sometimes a phishing email manages to get through. That’s when you need to use your analytical skills and know how to identify it.

Check the email

The quickest and easiest way to confirm that an email address is fake is by looking at the actual email. Scammers rarely hire skilled copywriters to write appealing copy, so they make mistakes that are easy to spot. 

Grammar, spelling, syntax

Read the email and use your language skills, or copy it and paste it into Grammarly. If there are any obvious spelling, grammar, or syntax mistakes, it’s a scam.

Email address

Business email addresses are usually short and self-explanatory. They tend to follow the following formats: [email protected] or [email protected]. If the email address has a long string of numbers in the first part, it’s probably fake. Similarly, companies rarely use free email providers like Gmail or Yahoo. If the email address ends in @gmail.com, it’s probably a scam.

Personal information

If the email asks for your personal information, it’s fake. You know that trustworthy establishments, like banks and insurance companies, would not contact you via email to request personal information. They would likely call you or ask you to come in at your earliest convenience. Don’t respond to emails asking for your personal information!

Urgency

Scammers often use urgency to try to convince the recipient to give up their personal information. Believe that if something was really urgent, you would have known about it already. Besides, you can always call the company and ask them if they actually reached out to you. Don’t react to emails that encourage you to hurry up and give up your personal information.

Of course, some scammers are more skilled than others. Thus, if an email passes all these tests, that doesn’t mean that it’s not fake. Likewise, if it has spelling mistakes or comes from a Gmail account, that doesn’t mean the email is fake. If you have reason to believe an email address is fake, you need to conduct further checks to confirm that.

Check the email address

Checking the email address requires tools beyond your brain and analytical skills. These are things you can’t always do yourself. Let’s start slow with…

Email the address

This is the easiest way to check if an email address is fake. Create an email account through a free service like Gmail, and email the address in question. Gmail will tell you within minutes if the email bounced. If it did, the account is fake.

Use an online tool

Use an internet tool or program like Telnet or puTTy to ping the email address in question. This is the least efficient method, as it’s quite time-consuming and difficult. However, it is accurate and free. Use this method if you’re highly suspicious of an email address.

Email verification software

This is, without a doubt, the safest way to avoid phishing emails. Invest in a software solution that basically does everything for you. Email Inspector can be your knight in shining armor! This method is especially popular among big and small firms.

Leave it up to us!

As you can probably tell by now, going through your emails is a tedious and time-consuming task. You can’t always easily identify if an email address is fake just from looking at it. As technology continues to improve, scammers are becoming sneakier. 

If you’re looking for someone to take email checking off your hands completely, we’ve got you! Reach out to us at Email Inspector via email or visit our website to find out everything you need to know about our services. Don’t hesitate to ask any questions! 

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