How to Spot the Signs of an Email Phishing Scam

How full is your email inbox? If you are anything like us, your email can quickly pile up including critical business emails, family or personal emails, and then there are the plethora of junk emails. The average American gets well over one hundred emails a day, making the task of reading them seem insurmountable sometimes. In fact, if you let your inbox sit for a day or two, you are looking at a tidal wave of messages to sift through. When combing through your inbox, do you know how to spot malicious emails or do you just rush to get through them? Here are some clues to help you spot destructive email phishing scams.


Email phishing scams are a type of online scam where criminals send an email that appears to be from a legitimate company and ask you to provide sensitive information such as your bank account numbers, social security number, birthday, credit card number, usernames or passwords. These emails can look deceivingly legitimate and can cleverly get unsuspecting recipients to give up information that could cause long-lasting headaches. Look for the signs of an email phishing scam with these clues:


  • An email that is from a financial institution or business that does not mention your name or spells your name wrong. A general “Dear Customer” letter should be a red flag especially if they are asking for personal or sensitive information.
  • Look for emails that have grammatical errors or misspellings. Especially look for misspelled urls or requests to use a subdomain.
  • Emails from legitimate organizations or institutions do not ask you to reset your account or input sensitive information on a link that they provide. That information is going directly to the scammer.
  • ALWAYS be suspicious if an email asks for confidential information including credit card numbers, bank accounts, passwords, usernames or even your social security number. Call the institution directly by looking up a number on an old bill or document, NOT the one on the email.


If you suspect that you are dealing with an email phishing scam, contact the company that is the subject of the email by phone to alert them. Then check your accounts periodically to be sure that no unauthorized logins have been performed. Then check with your IT department or IT professional to be sure that you have the most recent software to stop viruses, spam, and other malicious emails. Call Spectra Networks for more information at 978.219.9752, or visit our website.