How to Spot a Fake Email

For the last couple of weeks I have been receiving fake emails alerting me to an important message at either Facebook, Google, or iTunes.

 

"Phishing" emails "Phishing" email made to look like Googe

As you can see in the pictures, the emails look legitimate, and contain the correct email addresses and mailing addresses of Google and Facebook (and LinkedIn, Twitter, etc).

When we dig a little deeper though, we can see these emails are actually originating from completely different addresses. Take a look at the email that says it’s from Google Support. When you move the mouse to the “from” name, a tiny white drop down menu shows up.

select drop down

When that drop-down menu is clicked, Apple Mail shows us the actual email address sending the message, not just the displayed name.

Actual Gmail address

When social networking sites, banking sites, online retailers, and basically anyone entity that you have a username and password for emails you, I highly recommend verifying the email address in addition to the displayed name.

Another way to avoid giving these scammers your information is to verify this information by manually typing in “facebook.com” in your browser instead of following a link from an email.

These types of scams are very effective, but with a little knowledge they can be successfully thwarted.

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