With the growing number of emails received daily, cybercriminals are got in heart and it is not always easy to discern the legitimate letters of those who are not. Yet some simple clues make it possible to recognize a fraudulent message and sometimes avoid very big problems.

Small return on the spam

Here are the three Main types of spam, also designated under the term “undesirable mail”:

  • The advertising spam is common, but does not represent big danger. It is simply an unwanted advertising email, with a product or service offer.
  • Phishing is much more dangerous because it is a real scam to recover confidential data about you (passwords, bank details, etc.) and then use them at your expenses.
  • The scam is, too, particularly dangerous since it aims to steal your identity and / or abuse your confidence by getting you from the money for example.

We will focus here mainly at phishing.

Phishing attempts: How to recognize a false email address?

Check the legitimacy of the sender address

Most of the time, phishing attempts are spreading for companies or people of trust, so supposed to be legitimate, in order to fool you.

Start by looking at the address name of the address after the “@” symbol. If it is unknown and / or different from the name of the sender, in this case beware. For example, an email from a bank (sender) must contain the domain name of the bank.

Also know that no large organization will email you with a domain of public email like Hotmail or Gmail for example. If the message actually comes from your bank, taxes or any other serious institution, the domain name will be that of the institution in question.

Check the complete spelling of the sender address

The other trick in the field of phishing consists in imitating the name of a known organization by subtly changing the spelling of the domain name, so that the recipient of the email does not notice it at first. The “m” can take the form “rn”, the “s” can be replaced by a “5”, etc. It can also be a word or number hang up on behalf of the known company. Thus, if the person who receives the mail is not vigilant enough and does not carely check the spelling of the sender address, it can easily think that the sending is legitimate.

As the English proverb says: “The Devil is in the details”.

Good to know

  • Look at the name of the sender and the entire email address: both must be linked.
  • To check the full email address of the sender, place your mouse cursor on the displayed name. If it seems fraudulent, do not even take the trouble to open the mail.
  • If the email seems to come from an organization that you know and with which you have already corresponded, but that you still have a doubt, copy the specified full address, then compare it to that of the other emails legitimate received in the past to see if it is indeed identical.

About the message

In addition to the address, be aware that the content of the email provides indications on the legitimacy of its sender. Several signs may indicate that it is a phishing attempt:

  • The greeting formula is inappropriate or strange.
  • The message contains numerous spelling mistakes and / or grammar.
  • The sender urges you to act quickly, even threaten you of a possible sanction if you do not do anything and if you do not answer its injunction. In contrast to the threat, it can also be the promise of a financial gain that is supposed to you and that you have to recover by clicking for example on a link.
  • The sender asks you for personal information such as identifiers or your bank details.
  • The link or attachment seem doubtful.

Despite all these precautions, be aware that Cybercriminals demonstrate a great creativity and continue to improve. It is therefore imperative to always remain vigilant and take the time to check the legitimacy of the emails you receive to prevent Risks of Fraud. If you spot a spam attempt, consider reporting it and block the sender. To do this, click on the three small points in front of the email address, these different options will then be offered.