How can I tell if an email is a scam?

There are a few different types of scam emails. One is internal scam emails, which happens when someone is pretending to be a coworker or someone at your company, and external scam emails happen when an outside person or vendor is trying to scam you into doing something.

How do you avoid falling into the trap of scam emails? For starters, check the header of the email. Most scam emails are sent from a public domain email address, like a Yahoo Mail or Gmail account — not a private company email. Check the spelling of the domain name, too — sometimes scammers will purchase domains that are similar to company domain names, but it’s important to recognize the difference.

So what happens if you get an email from Amazon, Paypal or a similar company that’s saying your account or order is flagged? Trust your instincts on this — if they’re asking for personal information, credit card information or asking you to click a link, then it’s probably a scam. These companies already have your information, so they should never ask for it via email.

If the email is poorly worded or the grammar isn’t correct, that’s another red flag. Our best advice is to use your best judgment, stay on guard and when in doubt, ask someone you trust — especially if an email is coming from a scammer that’s pretending to be someone you work with.

About Carrie

Carrie Rollwagen is host of the Localist podcast and cofounder of Church Street Coffee & Books. Currently, she works as Vice President of Strategic Planning at Infomedia, a web development company in Birmingham, Alabama. Find the Localist at @thinklocalist on Instagram and follow Carrie at @crollwagen.

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