April 18, 2015

Who really sent that email?

Just because the "Sender" name says Ancestry.com or Rosetta Stone or Nutrisystem or IRS Forgiveness Program, it doesn't mean the email came from any of those companies or the IRS.

I was browsing through the spam folder of an email account and found many emails indicating they were from the above-named entities. But by simply moving my mouse over the sender name I could quickly see in the information pop-up that the actual email address of the sender was not even close. Unfortunately hovering over information to get that information pop-up is not an easy thing to do on a smartphone or tablet.

I've also received emails that claim they are from people I know. In those cases the first clue that the email is probably not from them is the subject line. But if I miss that and open the email, the content is usually the give-away. If it is in poor English or if it is encouraging me to click on a link of some sort, I check to see if the email address associated with the sender is actually the email address i expect it to be. And even then I will probably write directly to the person using an email address I know and ask them if they sent the email. Most of the time the answer is no and their email account has been compromised or their name has been hijacked - perhaps from their or someone else's computer.

So be careful. If an email seems even the least-bit suspicious, it probably is. Never click on a link unless you are absolutely sure it is going to the place you think it is going and you have confirmed the email is legitimate.

Richard Kuper
The Kuper Report