I got an email recently from someone that seemed to be requesting information, but something just seemed wrong. As I looked at the email, the structure was correct and well formatted. There was a nice signature, not at all what I expect from spam, but it was definitely spam. How do I know? The email was addressed to undisclosed recipients. Now it may just be me, but the last time I tried to contact someone in an effort to reach out to them for information (maybe concerning the company), I sent one email directly to the person not to undisclosed recipients. With that in mind, I decided to write a post about some of the things I've seen done and what to look for.
What does this look like?
- Who is the email addressed to? i.e. does it say undisclosed recipients? Now obviously we will all get marketing emails that have been sent out to more than one person, but I regularly get emails for bills and invoices that have undisclosed-recipients in the CC section of the email. If you see this, don't just delete the email but take the time to mark it as spam and block the sender. While this won't stop them from creating another email it will alert service providers that there is an issue with the sender.
- Check the email closely. I recently got an email from "apple". That's not unusual given that I have apple products, I use iTunes, and I regularly receive marketing emails from them. This particular email was about a payment (and I had just rented a movie from iTunes). It was stating that there was an issue with my payment method and told me to follow the link to update my information. The email looked exactly like one of their emails, but I knew there was no issue with my payment method. I instantly think that this is spam and start looking. What I found was that the email name was something completely non-sensical.
What to remember: Be cautious and aware of the ways that people are using email for nefarious purposes.