How to Identify Phishing Scams

The purpose of this section is to explain how to identify an email sender, whether it be friend, legitimate organization, spammer or phisher.

If you receive email that just doesn’t look right, it could be a scam.

Look for these visual cues that suggest a phishing scam:

  1. The email is different in appearance and tone from past emails from the same sender.
  2. Sloppy spelling, grammar, awkward language, or mixed font sizes
  3. Notes of urgency, or pressure to act
  4. Technobabble, absurd, vague, or technical language
  5. Contains buttons or links to “resolve the problem”
  6. The sender’s name is a generic, meaningless title, like Server Admin.

Samples of phishing scams follow in Red Flags, linked below, pointing out easy-to-spot indications of a likely scam. Each image shows elements to look for in confirming your suspicions.

Red Flags