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Electronic Engineering Blog

How To spot a fake or phishing email.

Here is our cut-out-and-keep guide on how to spot a fake or “phising” email.

A ‘phishing’ email is one that purports to be from someone you do business with, like your bank, Apple, a high-street store or online store, but is in fact a fake email trying to get you to hand over your identity, passwords and/or debit & credit card details.

As an example, take a look at this email which is doing the rounds at the moment: (this is a picture of the email, not the email itself, so it’s safe!).

Screen Shot 2014-08-27 at 16.02.36If you had received this email, would you have clicked on the “Update Now” link?

It looks genuine enough, and if you click on the “Update Now” link in the email it would have taken you to this website: (again, this is a picture of the web site, not the site itself).

Screen Shot 2014-08-27 at 16.16.52

It all looks genuine enough, but if you were to fill in this form, your Apple ID would be taken over, and you bank account cleaned out within minutes. I won’t publish the link that was embedded in that email, that would just be silly, but it took you to an address very similar to this “www.udumy.ru/themes/Similitude07_div/forum/appel/” – which should raise alarm bells, because it looks nothing like the usual web addresses for Apple – and they even spell ‘Apple’ wrong in the link.

So how can you tell if an email is genuine? Well, lets take a look at the clues in the original email.

Here is our cut-out-and-keep guide to spotting the fakes:

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The simple rule is this:
Never trust any email that asks you to verify your identity or payment details. If you think it might actually be genuine, because you are (for example) expecting an account to expire, then instead of following the links in the email, use your normal routes for contacting the company. Don’t use any email addresses or phone numbers on the email, they might be fake too!

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