Going digital has made things easier for most, if not all, businesses. However, it’s not entirely perfect because some issues can still be encountered, particularly security. One excellent example of this is email spoofing.
In this article, we’ll discuss everything you need to know about email spoofing and what you can do to protect yourself from it. Read on below to get started.
What Is Email Spoofing?
Email spoofing is a tactic used by online scammers, fraudsters, and phishers to gain unauthorised access to private computers or network systems. Consequently, email spoofing has been around since the early days of the internet. However, it has become an increasingly popular scamming tactic in the past few years.
It has also been made more complicated these days since spammers can use software to imitate messages from someone trustworthy such as your bank or a government agency. Such techniques could trick you into opening a malicious attachment or clicking on a suspicious link.
There are two types of email spoofing. These are:
Emails That Impersonate People
This is the most common form of email spoofing. It typically involves sending a fake email that appears as if it’s coming from a company you know or a person you trust.
The email might look like an order confirmation or a shipping confirmation from a retailer that you’ve recently shopped from. Another example might be an invoice from your car or life insurance provider.
Emails That Impersonate Brands
These emails aim to convince people that their message is coming from a legitimate business. As such, you might get an email from a company that you’ve never dealt with, but one that’s well known in the industry.
For example, a fraudster could send you a message from the email address of your bank’s fraud department. Alternatively, they may send an email from a lead generation company that you recently registered your interest in.
Types of Spoofed Emails
There are different types of spoofed emails, such as:
Confusing Spam Emails
These fake emails are sent by legitimate businesses but with an added twist. For example, they may be spelling mistakes or grammatical errors.
Businesses may make these kinds of mistakes when they’re writing outreach emails. However, these mistakes tend to appear on company-wide emails or newsletters. Therefore, you should keep an eye out for them when you receive a message from a reputable company.
Convincing Email Design
These kinds of fake emails are so convincing that they are almost impossible to tell apart from actual messages coming from a reputable business. For example, they may have a template that looks like the company’s standard email format. They may also have the correct contact details, reply address, and perhaps even a correct sender name.
Unfortunately, there’s no one suspicious element that you can look out for to determine whether or not an email is fake. Instead, it’s best to rely on your gut feeling when receiving an email from an unknown company.
Forged Email Header
This is the most sophisticated form of email spoofing. It’s used to impersonate a business that you have a positive experience with but don’t frequently communicate with. These emails typically look like emails from a reputable company but with details different from their usual email format.
Suspicious Account Activity
This type of scam is an example of phishing. A phishing email is sent to you with a link or attachment that they want you to click. However, this link will take you to a site or download an application that they can access your information.
Protecting Yourself from Email Spoofs
The only way to protect yourself from email spoofing is to be aware of the scam. The more you know, the less likely you will fall victim to it.
For example, you should know how often people you know would be sending you emails. Additionally, you should also be wary of emails asking for your personal or financial information.
Whenever you receive an email from an unknown sender, you should check the email’s “sent from” email address. If it isn’t the same as the “reply to” address, chances are that the email may be fake.
Email spoofing is a relatively easy way to trick someone into revealing their bank details, credit card number, or other information they wouldn’t want to share. However, you can prevent yourself from becoming a victim by being aware of this scam and the different ways that it can be executed. As long as you don’t immediately click on something in an email, you should be safe.
FraudWatch is a digital brand protection company that provides top-quality services for phishing protection. We offer full-service digital protection solutions, from detecting threats to evaluating and taking them down, so we can guarantee that your digital assets will be well-protected. Contact us today to learn more!