Below are a set of rules to live by when trying to determine whether an email should be considered spam/fraudulent and disregarded:

  • Commercial emails will always contain a header or footer indicating what company sent you the email
  • There will be a visible and operable unsubscribe mechanism present in all commercial emails
  • The email will always come from the corporate domain of the company. The corporate email domain can be located by looking at a Company’s Contact Us section on their website. You can also do a google search for executive email addresses from said company if the Contact Us section does not contain an email address.
  • The subject of a commercial email will always correspond with the contents of the email body.
  • Any commercial email containing 5 or less sentences, one of which tells you to open an attachment, should be considered spam
  • Any commercial email telling you that you won something for a contest that you did not enter should be considered spam (how did you win something if you did not enter a contest?)
  • Any commercial email with multiple recipients in the ‘To’ header should be considered spam
  • Any email stating that you have an unclaimed inheritance should be considered spam
  • Any email addressed to a general title (ie ‘Email Owner’, ‘Email Subscriber’, etc.) should be considered spam
  • Competing companies will never collaborate to send you an email (ie if both Google and Yahoo are mentioned)
  • Any email from a company regarding your account that has not been recently initiated by you should be considered fraudulent
  • Any email asking for account information should be considered fraudulent. It is also a good idea to report this kind of email to the company the spammer is imitating (abuse@company-domain.com will usually get the email where it needs to go).

I have NEVER received a legitimate email that:

  • Asked for my personal or financial information
  • Asked for me to update my account information
  • Advised of unsolicited compensation or winnings (with the exception of Class Action lawsuits, which are easily identifiable due to the amount of legitimate information/links/court documents they contain)

If you would like to do further research, read the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003. Any emails not falling within the guidelines of the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 should be considered fraudulent.

0