How to spot a fake email

Drew explains how you can protect yourself from email scams.

Fake emails explained

Nearly 60 per cent of all emails sent worldwide are spam and the vast majority of these are created to scam you of your hard-earned money. Drew explains how to spot a fake email. 

What to look for
Scammers are becoming more cunning than ever before with their email scams and with the choice of words they use in those emails. In recent times, common email scams such as the Prince of Nigeria asking you to help transfer a large sum of money in exchange for a percentage for your troubles and Svetlana from Russia asking for your hand in marriage have fallen off significantly. But scams targeted to your location pretending to be well-known Australian companies such as Telstra, the ATO or Australia Post are on the rise. 

Those using an email address ending with .au are more often and more specifically targeted than those with a .com email address. This is because the scammer knows this email address is linked to a person living in Australia. 

Be on the lookout for emails from Telecommunication companies (Optus/Telstra, etc), banking institutions (Westpac, Commonwealth Bank, etc), online payment services (Paypal, Western Union), mail companies (Fed EX or Aus Post) and the Australian Tax Office (ATO). 

Before opening an attachment or clicking through to a website, be sure that you are expecting an email from that company. The trick I find most useful in determining whether an email is a scam or not is to scroll my mouse over the linked information in the email. By doing this, a display of the website url that you would be taken to will be shown. This allows you to make an educated decision (if the link is going to, then you know it’s a real email).

Another trick is to check the email address from which you received the email. If it looks dodgy or untypical of that organisation, it’s most likely unsafe. 

As with anything in life, if an offer sounds too good to be true, it generally is. Never click on a link that you aren’t expecting.



    To make a comment, please register or login
    27th Aug 2018
    I got a letter through the postal service last week indicating that the long lost relative from Nigeria with the 12 million euros, has moved to Valencia Spain and died again.
    27th Aug 2018
    Haha..that’s gold Charlie!!
    27th Aug 2018
    It is really easy to get tricked these days.
    The bills look exactly like a real bill. You can check the URL however it will look very like the company name.

    My advice is to not pay the bill from an email. Always look at the amount owing and then go to your Bpay and pay through the bank. Double check its the same account number as last time and Bpay number and if its not check with the company.

    - Or sign a cheque and post it!
    27th Aug 2018
    Better yet, don't pay a cent until you've verified the e-mail as genuine.
    27th Aug 2018
    Never pay a bill from the e-mail. Go to the branch and obtain the real website address first, register on the real website and pay bill from login, get a payment receipt from the supplier and verify the withdrawal from your bank account.
    I do not use my printer very often but I have changed the mode in my print command to save in PDF format and click print. You will save on cost of print paper, pollution of accumulation of paper and you will save your printer ink cartridge. I save all my payment receipts in PDF, copies of bank, credit card transactions and statements on a 32 GB USB memory stick, not on the hard drive.
    27th Aug 2018
    If the email address looks dodgy, write it down (don't copy/paste it) and look it up on Google. If its a scam it will probably be shown there as such. Also on Outlook there is a panel to the right where you can read the email without opening it. Just scroll the mouse over the suspicious message heading in the 'in box' and it should appear in enough detail to check it.
    27th Aug 2018
    I regularly receive emails telling me I've been caught on camera travelling at 150kmh in a 60kmh zone. This is easy to spot as spam? Why? Because I drive a mobility scooter and the scooter service has ensured that my speed is limited to 12kmh MAX (although I rarely get past 'turtle' speed of less than 2kmh). Still I've framed the printed out email, people are very impressed!
    27th Aug 2018
    Rocket-powered scooter!
    28th Aug 2018
    My grandsons reckon I'll be up there with you when I have to get a "Zoom Mobeel" as they call it. Lol.
    Crystal Clear
    27th Aug 2018
    Scroll right down to the bottom of the email and look for the address- usually in very tiny font- and you will see it is usually from the USA and therefore fake.

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