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Identifying E-mail Fraud

Fight spam

Why was I spammed at my email address?

One of the most frequent used types of email deception is called phishing. Phishing is described as a form of e-mail fraud in which perpetrator sends out an e-mail that appears to be genuine in an attempt to collect personal and financial information from the addressee. Usually, the message appears to come from a familiar and reputable business website.

Thesafepills will never ask you for personal information via e-mail. You should never respond to e-mail requests for sensitive information, unless you are sure the e-mail is from a legitimate source. Most reputable businesses will never ask for this information by email. If you aren't sure if the source is authentic, be cautious and call the business or institution. Additionally, if the email provides a telephone number with a request you call the number with your information, Do Not call unless you know that the number is a bona fide number for the business or institution.

If you receive an e-mail saying it is from a company you have done business with in the past, but it is sent to an e-mail address that you did not provide, beware this is a red flag that the message is not bona fide. You may go to the known website URL and view your account information to see the e-mail you used when you opened the account.

Verifying Who Sent The E-mail

To verify the sender you need to view the header of the e-mail. To view the information from the top e-mail providers, follow the steps listed for each.

  • Yahoo e-mail: you can look at the header by going to the Actions option and click the view header option. (See note below)
  • Gmail: open the e-mail and select Show Original in the menu on the right. This will open a new window which will show the e-mail header containing the origin and routing IP.   (See note below)
  • Outlook e-mail:
    • Option 1: open message, choose view, then options.
    • Option 2: in the folder view, right-click the message, then click options.
    • (See note below)

The header should contain several lines opening with Received. The last line should look similar to this:

  • Received from (

If the received from information is different than the e-mail address of the sender, the message is probably not legitimate.

Note: A legitimate request will never be sent in a forwarded e-mail.

Phishing Links

Be cautious of links in unsolicited e-mail messages. A common method used by scammers is including a link to a website.  Never open a link in an e-mail until you know where it actually directs you.

Never Click on E-mail Links

You should never click on a links in unsolicited e-mails. You should manually type the URL link in your browser, and look for the information directly on the website.
If the email is informing you of a shipment delivery, or of an error with a shipment (that you didn't place), manually go to the website of the shipper and enter the tracking information.
If the e-mail is offering an exclusive shopping deal; manually open the website to look for a mention of the offer, this would usually be found under Special Offers or a similar term.

View Link Properties

One fast way to verify if a link is safe is to right click on the link and then view properties. You will see here if the URL what the link claims it to be Scammers can easily type a legitimate link on the body of the email, but in reality direct you to a fake domain address. Viewing the properties of the link allows you see the actual location the link is taking you to.

Be Wary of E-mail Attachments

If you receive an attachment via e-mail that is from an unknown or suspicious source, do not open the attachment. If you think the e-mail is valid, contact the company to verify its authenticity.

Verifying Website Security

Websites that are protected with an SSL or an Extended Validation (EV) certificate will feature URLs starting with HTTPS rather than the standard HTTP.
For more information, or for questions or concerns about the security of our website, contact

Phishing E-mail Greetings

Because phishing e-mails are usually sent in bulk mailings they usually will not have a personalized greeting. Most legitimate businesses will mention your name in an e-mail message.

Compare E-mail with Past Correspondence

If you have dealt with the company in the past you may be able to compare the suspicious e-mail with past examples of correspondences. Companies will use the same format for all of their e-mail communications.
If you receive an e-mail from a company requesting sensitive information and you have never done business with them; it is probably an attempt to phish for information. This type of e-mail should be deleted.

Never Give Out Sensitive Information Via E-Mail

Do not, under any circumstances provide personal or sensitive information via e-mail; and especially if the e-mail is unsolicited. Never open attachments or links included in the message, the link or attachment may contain a virus or malicious cookies. Replying to unsolicited e-mails alerts the sender that your e-mail is active and they will continue to send spam to your inbox.

If you receive an email claiming to be from a company you have had business transactions with but it seems suspicious, manually enter the company's website address in your browser and go to Contact Us to get information on how to contact the business. Businesses will appreciate being alerted that someone is attempting to use their information for fraudulent purposes.

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