How To Spot Phishing Email


The number of phishing emails has increased exponentially, especially since the onset of the coronavirus. 


What exactly is a phishing email?

A phishing email is created by scammers to look like it comes from a legitimate sender.  The logos look just like the real company: Bank of America, Chase, Amazon, Netflix, Walmart, etc.  However, the email was not sent by that company.


Why do scammers send phishing emails?

As the name implies, they are ‘fishing’ for information.  The scammers try to trick you into giving them your personal information – such as login credentials (ID and password) for your bank, credit cards, or Amazon accounts (that may have a credit card stored on file), and thus gain access to use your money for their nefarious purposes.


How to recognize phishing emails?

Many phishing emails are automatically sent to your spam or junk folder by your email service, because the email meets their scam or spam criteria.  This is usually because the domain address of the email address and links in the email do not match the domain of the purported sender. E.g., the logo says Amazon, but the email address is not from


What are clues that an email is phishing?

  • The email is congratulating you for winning a gift card or enter a sweepstakes. If you just give the sender your email address and other personal information to win.
  • The email asks you for money, promising to send you even more money.
  • The email asks you to sign into your bank due to a security issue (signing in gives the scammer your login credentials).  Call your bank if in doubt.
  • The email looks like it is from a friend, asking if you have an amazon account.
  • The email message either looks too good to be true or scares you.
  • The email address and links in the email do not match the sender’s domain name.


How to test for phishing?

  • Mouse over the sender’s email address.  This will pop-up the real email address of the sender.    If it looks strange and does not match the real domain name of the purported sender, it is spam and probably a scam.
  • Mouse over links in the email.  This will pop-up the website that the link goes to.  If the links have nothing to do with the purported sender’s domain, it’s a scam.


How to deal with phishing emails?

  • In your spam / junk folder?  90% of what is in your spam folder are scams and junk mail; there is no need to look at them, just delete them.
  • In your inbox?  Test for phishing, mark as junk (train your email service to no deliver to your inbox in the future) …Then delete.


As one of my clients said recently, in utter frustration, “NOW I have to be a detective to read my email??”  Sorry, but yes! Unless you want to be the victim of scammers who have found an easy way to take your money and identity, right from your email