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4 Signs of Scam Emails

Emails arrive in many people’s Inbox fast and furious. Emails mentioning a product order, purchase, tracking update, or something related to money being spent or items received often catch the eye. Scammers know this and they craft emails to copy a typical order confirmation in order to get attention.

The following email made its way to my primary inbox last week:


This message gives me the opportunity to illustrate the signs of a scam or phishing email. Business email compromise is a scourge to people’s email lives. Fraudster messages can result in ransomware being installed, money being sent to illicit bank accounts, and many other maladies. Taking a critical look at your emails before taking action or clicking can stop these negative actions from occurring. This post looks at four easy ways to spot scam or phishing emails.



1. Context

If you see an email that relates to a purchase or urgent situation, do not panic. Take a deep breath and ponder if the email topic relates to something you have done or are involved in. Scammers often target the elderly sadly because their technical skills and mental acuity might be diminished.

I did not purchase the software solution mentioned. That is the first and most important reason that I knew this was not authentic. Just because the context is correct, do not stop there and trust the email, however. Scammers often observe emails coming and going and slip their fraudulent message into the stream of conversations.



2. Email Addresses

The email came from a Gmail account. A large company would not use that in sending important messages. Crooks can registers email accounts in bulk and use them to get messages out.

I am listed as a BCC. This indicates that the message did not come from a sophisticated email platform.



3. Grammar and Spelling

Professional organizations will use skilled writers to craft their email copy. This message did not have an author with talent. Spelling and grammar errors are very likely in scams. That being said, the lack of errors is not a guarantee of authenticity. The skill level for scams and phishing can vary.


4. Dubious Information

If you receive a message to your corporate email address that is suspicious, inform your IT team. They can confirm authenticity. In addition, similar messages might be sent to others in the company. This warning can allow them to delete dangerous emails. Performing a simple Google search for the phone number or company mentioned can also give clues to whether or not the message is true.


Stop Phishing Emails with Technology

Cybersecurity software can give organizations a boost when it comes to stopping scams and email threats. Systems can stop emails from entering an inbox, put notice messages in emails or stop certain actions from users. Organizations can have these systems monitored 24×7 with a Managed Security Services Provider (MSSP), like Cipher. The layered defenses for cybersecurity are the best way to reduce the risk of attacks.

Did you enjoy this blog article? Comment below with your feedback.


  1. Carl Rome

    Hi! Another thing I noticed is that the payment says: “direct debit” and I don’t know if in your country, but in mine, all purchases invoices or bills paid with plastic, be it debit or credit, must display the LAST 4 digits of the card charged. – In absence of this, increases fraud suspicion in my book. – EVEN if the mail has 4 digits, that could actually be yours, then you should call your bank immediately! – But the golden rule is: NEVER EVER reply unsolicited or unexpected email.

  2. Pam Harvey

    Signs of scam e-Mail
    Very good reminder of things to pay attention to when reading an email or any other type of message from an unknown solicitor. Also, like the tip to Google a phone number or address for confirming information.


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