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
    Waiting to retire at 70
    7th Jul 2020
    I scroll my mouse over the email address from whom the email is from.

    More often than not, the address revealed hasn't got anything associated with the claimed sender, e.g., if it is claimed to be from say, Telstra, them "telstra" would be expected to be in the sender email address, but isn't. Others might have "teltsra" in the sender email address ... close but not the real Telstra, who is very unlikely to misspell their name.
    7th Jul 2020
    If you forward jokes by email delete all previous senders info then send them on BCC and ensure your friends do the same. A friends email address list was hacked and she wasn't aware until I told her I was getting dodgy emails supposedly from her.
    7th Jul 2020
    Wonder where the "60%" came from.?... seems large by any figure of imagination..

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