How to Identify a Phishing Email?
There are a few telltale signs that this is a phishing scam.
- It asks for personal information. No legitimate company, including Microsoft, will ever ask you for personal information via email. That includes your username, password and date of birth. This is the biggest red flag.
- It contains poor grammar, misspellings and looks unprofessional. If you receive an email claiming to be from a large enterprise, like Microsoft, with grammatical mistakes and misspellings, you can be sure it did not really originate from them. Large companies ensure that their emails look professional. In the case of this Windows Live phishing email, the subject line and from field are enough to give it away. Note the double exclamation marks and missing space in the subject line. Also note that the word ‘team’ in the from field is written in all capital letters. You don’t even need to click on the email to know it’s a scam.
- The sender’s email address is unprofessional. First, it’s from an MSN account, which anyone on the Internet can get for free, instead of from an official Microsoft domain. Second, the first part of the email address is ‘lbhughes100’, again very unprofessional looking (and suspicious).
- There is a sense of urgency. This pressures you into feeling like you need to take action right away, and do not have the time to research the legitimacy of it.