Fight the Hackers, Protect Your Information: 5 Telltale Signs of a Phishing Email

You get an email you weren’t expecting from a company you’re subscribed to. It urges you to take immediate action, but it looks kind of weird.

Is it real or is it a phishing email? How do you know for sure? Read on to find out.

Below are the 5 top signs of a phishing email. Learn how to watch out for phishing emails, and what to do about them, from this guide.

1. It Asks For Personal Information

The hallmark of a phishing email is that it’s attempting to gain information about you that it can use against you. Usually, the email straight-up asks you to send your name, mailing address, credit card numbers, etc. in a reply email.

At other times, it tells you to confirm your information by clicking a link. The link then takes you to a mock website that looks like the official site of a familiar company, like PayPal. The site instructs you to submit your information.

Never click these links or reply to these emails. Instead, open your browser and visit the official site of the supposed sender.

Log into your account as usual. If the email communication was genuine, you’ll have the same notification in your actual account.

2. Lots of Typos and Other Errors

Large companies don’t get where they are by being lazy or sloppy. If a “Netflix” email spells “account information” wrong, it’s most likely phisher. You’ll usually notice very bad grammar and several misspelled words in phishing emails.

They’ll probably have some of your information wrong, too. For example, perhaps your Netflix account is linked to your Yahoo email address but the email was sent to your Gmail account.

3. It Looks Weird

Phishing emails usually pose as other companies, even copying their official logos. But a phishing email likely won’t follow the standard layout of the official company’s emails. Furthermore, they typically look sloppy and not very official.

4. The Email Address Looks Fake

Speaking of looking weird, check the email address of the sender. Most companies’ official email addresses will include their website address or company name after the at symbol.

For example, PayPal will send from an address like, “[email protected].” This is for security. Only the real PayPal can set up and use an email address.

It’s not legitimate if the company name is before the at symbol, like “[email protected].” For that matter, legitimate companies almost never send from general-use, personal email services like Gmail or Hotmail.

5. It Wants You to Download Attachments

Typically a company won’t send you/ask you to open email attachments unless you yourself requested them. For example, you might ask your bank to email a certain document to you.

In any case, don’t download email attachments. Instead, use your browser, log into your actual account, and find out for sure if there’s a file prepared for you.

What to Do If You See These Signs

Aside from the tips above, you can get help from an expert email verification agency, like this company. This is especially a good idea for businesses.

Watch Out For These Signs of a Phishing Email


If you see these signs of a phishing email, do not engage. Delete the email and use your browser to make sure your account is fine. You can also contact the real company being imitated to report the phisher.

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