How to Detect and Verify Fake Email Addresses?
Every day, 111 billion emails are sent, and it can be challenging to distinguish between legitimate and fraudulent communications. 94% of workers need help distinguishing between authentic and fraudulent emails.
What is a quick way to tell whether an email address is fake? This guide will provide you with the necessary knowledge and tools to identify and confirm the authenticity of email addresses.
By learning how to spot fake emails, you can take the necessary steps to ensure that you are communicating with legitimate individuals and avoid falling victim to cybercriminals.
Why Do You Need to Check for Real Emails to Use?
Email is one of the most important and widely used services on the internet. It’s also a great way to get in touch with your customers, partners and others you may not know well.
But what if you have a list of email addresses that are not real? This can be a problem because it means that the emails will never reach their destination, which affects your reputation as an email marketer and could even lead to getting blocked by some ISPs.
You must ensure all your contact lists have real email addresses to avoid this situation. Why is this so important? Here are reasons why you need to check for real emails when sending emails:
- It can be used to verify that the email address is valid and not being used by someone else.
- It will also help you ensure the email address is not compromised.
- This may include a hacker or spammers trying to use your email address as their own.
- You can also check if the person uses a current email address for other purposes, such as online shopping or banking.
- This means that you can avoid any problems with identity theft or fraud.
5 Ways to Detect a Fake Email Address
You’d be surprised how many people fall prey to phishing scams due to fake emails.
The only way to avoid becoming a victim is by being aware of the most common methods to trick you into giving up your personal information.
Here are five ways to detect a fake email address:
1. Check the Email Address Domain
A common way to spot a fake email address is to check its hosted domain. Many scammers use domains similar to popular sites like Google, Facebook, and Yahoo to fool you into thinking they’re legitimate.
If you receive an email from someone claiming to be David Jones at a fake Gmail address like [email protected], then you can be sure it’s not legit.
2. Examine the Sender’s Display Name
If you’re receiving an email from someone whose name doesn’t match the sender’s name field in your inbox, that’s a red flag. In Gmail, for example, if you hover over an email from a sender named John Smith and see that his display name is John Doe, it could indicate that this person has faked their email address.
3. Look for Misspelt Words
One of the easiest ways to identify a fake email address is by checking for misspelt words and incorrect grammar. If an email contains multiple spelling mistakes or poor grammar, it’s likely from a bot rather than a real person.
4. Hover Over Any Links and Attachments
If you receive an email from someone that contains links or attachments, hover over them with your cursor first before clicking on them. If there is anything unusual about them (such as an odd URL), don’t click on it! Instead, go directly to the source website by typing its URL into your browser (http://www).
This way, you won’t accidentally download malicious software or viruses onto your computer when following links sent in emails from strangers!
5. Verify the Sender’s Information by Contacting Them Directly
If you’re sceptical about a sender’s authenticity, do a quick Google search to see if their email address is associated with any other websites or products. If it is, then it’s likely legitimate.
However, if no results are associated with that email address, proceed with caution.
Prevent Yourself From Fake Email Addresses Using PowerDMARC
Good news for you! You can prevent yourself from receiving emails from fake email addresses. Also, these protocols make your domain safe from being used as a fake email address!
The SPF Protocol: Securing the Sending Servers
Declaring the servers is the first step. A DNS record called SPF (Sender Policy Framework) specifies the mail servers permitted to transmit messages on your domain’s behalf. The servers and IP addresses permitted to utilise the domain name can be listed using this protocol. The first step in authenticating your emails is to do this.
When a message is sent from your company, the recipient’s mail servers verify that the message originates from an authorised domain. The message will arrive in spam if it doesn’t originate from an authorised domain.
Delivery issues may result from incorrectly set up SPF records. The email solution provider you use will usually include configuration instructions.
DKIM: Signing and Authenticating Messages
Installing the DKIM (or DomainKeys Identified Mail) protocol is a second security precaution. Using a set of private and public keys establishes the authentication of the email-sending domain. The keys enable message signing and source validation.
It is a signature that has been added to your DNS record and the signer’s name.
When the email reaches the recipient’s servers, they verify its origin and any modifications using the public key.
In addition to SPF, the DKIM protocol aids in determining whether or not a message qualifies as spam.
DMARC: Verifying the Application of SPF and DKIM Protocols
SPF and DKIM are followed by DMARC (Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting and Conformance). The SPF and DKIM protocols are applied, and specifically, the correspondence between the header and the sender domain is verified by the DMARC record.
This tool can check the configuration for SPF, DKIM, and DMARC.
If a message fails these criteria, it specifies the following procedures. Reject, quarantine, or do nothing are the three possibilities. The rules can be set up to tolerate either soft or hard alignment.
The DMARC protocol also sends reports that list communications from your domain that have been validated and those that have not. This can be helpful in finding potential threats, abuse, or configuration issues.
It’s easy to be tricked into thinking an email is legitimate, and you want to avoid getting caught off guard by a hacker.
Next time you receive an unexpected email from a friend or acquaintance, check for any of the tell-tale signs we discussed above before you fall prey to a phishing scam disguised as your buddy.
It’s probably not an actual message from them but rather a fake designed to steal your identity.
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