Knowing When It's a Real Email: 5 Tips
This is from the Honor Society published book called "How to Avoid the Top E-mail Scams" by Mike Moradian, written to help protect our member and student community from common online scams. To learn more about the book or to purchase a copy, click here.
Knowing When It’s a Real Email: 5 Tips
Now it’s time to understand when you are, in fact, dealing with a real email. In some instances, emails do require you to act, perhaps if you didn’t submit your taxes correctly, etc. You need to know if an email is real in order to be a productive member of society, which is why we felt it was important to include that in this e-book!
So how can you piece apart the legitimate from the non-legitimate emails? Here are our 5 tips to help:
1. It’s An Email You Were Expecting:
This one goes without saying – if you are expecting an email from a company or a specific person, and you receive an email from them, then that’s a good indicator it’s a true and real email. That’s why it’s a good idea to keep some kind of contact log or calendar at your disposal where you track all of your correspondence and who has/has not answered you yet. Plus, this is good for staying on top of things that will make your life that much more organized.
2. It’s Non-Threatening:
Normally, real emails don’t pose a threat to you and your well-being for the day. They are simply meant to extend a conversation or answer a question. If the subject line and body of the email do not threaten account termination, credit card fraud, or dramatic winning announcements, it’s probably real.
3. The Right-Hand Side of the Email is Legitimate:
Remember when we talked about email URLs? Make sure to check the right-hand side of the email. If it indeed says, [email protected], then you can actually rest assured you are receiving an email from Apple. You can always use the websites we included earlier to still check on the legitimacy of the email if you want!
4. It Just Feels Right:
You’ve sent thousands of emails in your life. You are more of an expert than you might think! If you can sense that it’s a normal, legitimate email, then you are probably right. Remember to listen to that gut feeling in your chest – it’s a guiding force that knows more than you give it credit for!
5. It Wasn’t Sent at Some Odd Hour:
Many times, phishing emails are sent from overseas, which means they can land in your inbox at 2AM. What normal person is sending out work emails in the middle of the night? General correspondence happens between 8AM and 8PM, which is why you should always look at the email timestamp. If it arrives during regular working hours, it’s another indicator that it’s actually real. It’s important to note that due to common email marketing tools, legitimate e-mails can be sent late at night to tier out sending or to avoid sending too much traffic to a website at the same time. Therefore this rule should be viewed as a general additional suggestion to consider rather than a strict rule.
Practice makes perfect, which means the more you adhere to these rules and suggestions when managing your email inbox, the more confident you will get in your ability to determine fact from fiction.
For more on how to protect yourself online, read tips from our published book below:
Intro: How to Avoid the Top E-mail Scams
Tip #1: Look for the Display Name
Tip #2: Do Not Click the Links
Tip #3: Scan for Spelling Errors
Tip #4: Look for Personal Information Requests
Tip #5: The Offer is Unrealistic
Tip #6: You Never Initiated the E-mail
Tip #7: The Email Requests You Send Money
Tip #8: The Message Contains Some Kind of Threat
Tip #9: The Email Claims to be From a Bank or Government Agency
Tip #10: Your Gut Tells You Something is Wrong
Extra Credit #1: Tips for Staying on Top of Phishers
Extra Credit #2: Knowing When It's a Real Email: 5 Tips