10 Tips to help identify spam and phising emails

There’s several tell-tale signs on whether an email is real or not.

Here’s some tips...

|1| Spam Score *****

Our spam system performs hundreds of tests on every single incoming email to determine it’s “spaminess”. These are very in-depth and include searching the email for URL’s and then visiting those sites to see if the content is fake, uses spam-keywords, is known as a spam site or even as simple as if the domain is new and registered by a known spamming organisation. If it gets a high spam score it’s almost certainly spam so you should treat it as such unless you know for sure it’s not.

|2| Asks for personal details

You’ve won something, someone’s left you some money, guaranteed loan acceptance etc. They all ask for lots of personal information by email (name, dob, birthplace, mothers maiden name). They will use these to steal your identity. Don’t ever send them. Genuine companies will never ask you for personal details by email.

|3| Attachment Spam

If there’s an obscure message that “could be” genuine but asks you to open an attachment – for more info or for a password – chances are it’s spam, or a virus. Unless you know exactly what you are opening and who it's from  NEVER OPEN ATTACHMENTS. Bear in mind that these often appear to be sent from your friends and can be convincing: “Hi, here’s my latest holiday snaps, open the attachment to view”

|4| Bad English

Most spamming comes from organised criminal gangs in Russia, South America, the Middle East and China. Their English and grammar is rarely very good. If it doesn’t make perfect sense then there’s probably something fishy…

|5| Bank emails

These phising emails often look exactly like real email from your bank. Banks very very rarely send emails at all and NEVER EVER ask you to click on a link or send any details back. Chances are you don’t even bank with them! If in doubt, ring your bank or visit their website – most alerts will be within your secure login.

|6| Links and fake links

Unless you are 100% sure the link in an email actually goes to where it’s supposed to or you know the sender.  Links can be disguised easily in emails – it might say “www.paypal.com” but it may take you to “robyou.paypal.crook.com”. When you do click known links, always verify the URL looks right “https://www.paypal.com”

|7| Dear youremail@webmate.me

If it’s addressed to your email then the chances are whoever it is sending the email is grabbing your data from somewhere and you have not asked to be included in the list. Reputable companies who send genuine email lists will often include personal information like your name and account number to prove they are legitimate.

|8| Too good to be true

If you get an email saying you’ve won £1.000.000 in a lottery you can't remember entering, or a year’s free food at your local chain-restaurant – just remember there’s no such thing as a free lunch.

|9| Profile changes

Facebook and other similar sights often send convincing emails claiming that some of your info has been changed – you don’t remember changing anything so you’re supposed to click the link to investigate. This’ll take you to a fake login page and they will steal your login information.

|10| Messages from WebMate!

We spot these quite early but some emails claim to be from us or “your ISP” or “your mailserver”. Same kind of thing as normal, login with your email and password to verify your security settings or something. Again, it’ll have a link that may be fake. If in doubt always login to sites in your normal fashion – from a bookmark or by typing the address manually. Our Spam system is highly advanced, possibly the best around, and we monitor emails around the clock to manually spot and prevent spam and phishing emails. However, it is a constant battle and some phishing and spam emails can slip through. Always be cautious. If ever in doubt, forward the email to us (preferably as an attachment or raw source) and we’ll inspect it for you and show you what to look for. Send to mailmaster@webmate.me.
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