My Bank Never Asks for my Password! What's Up?

Spoofing an email address is pretty easy, and there are multiple ways to do this that require little to no technological savvy.

That email you got last week from BillMasterson@mybank.com most likely wasn’t from Bill the Bank Manager himself, more than likely the email address was spoofed. Since the most common vector for malware infection is now a carefully crafted, spoofed phishing email, how is a user to spot these fake email threats?

Resort to common sense first. Often a spoofed email will contain a request for a wire transfer, or an ‘unpaid invoice’ of some sort. Many times it is just a seemingly harmless link to a Dropbox file with a funny name.

Is your bank really going to send you an attached PDF transfer order when you don't usually transfer money? Of course not – resist opening the attachment!

 Is your Facebook friend with the hotmail address really going to send you an urgent appeal with a goofy link that doesn't seem to go to a relevant website? Maybe so – refrain from clicking the link and double-check with your friend! 

Other signs to look out for include different reply-to addresses, attachments with strange names, links in an email you weren’t expecting, and in general, anything that seems even slightly odd, including bad grammar and misspellings.

Another way to see if an email address is being spoofed is to check the header of the email itself. The header contains vital information that ensures the email gets where it needs to go successfully, as well as other components of the email.

Instructions for checking the email header in Google Webmail are here, for Microsoft Outlook click here; or you can analyze any email header here.

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