Scam email example

Scam emails can look very official. But there are a number of hints in this one that it’s a scam.

From feedback about my previous columns, I realized there are a few additional things that I could point out to help you recognize more email scams.

One of the most important steps you can take to protect yourself is to have a regular backup of everything on your computer that you can’t afford to lose. But that’s a subject for a later column.

Here are some recent examples of scams from my own inbox:

Don’t open any attachments:

The following are the first few lines of some of the scam emails I have received recently that included malicious attachments. These are designed to look like legitimate package delivery notifications.


  • From: <>
  • Subject: DHL Delivery URGENT NOTICE for 22/09/2019



  • From:GAUTAM PATIL <>



  • From:Cosco Shipping <>
  • Subject: COSCO SHIPPING 2019.12 TPT Sailing schedule


It can be easy to determine if such notifications are legitimate or scams. For example, on the first one, allegedly from “DHL”, the from address shows:

“From: <>”

The first part can be easily faked. The second part, between the “<>” brackets, is the {span style=”text-decoration: underline;”}real{/span}address – as you can see, the address is obviously {span style=”text-decoration: underline;”}not{/span}“DHL” — clearly a scam email.

Note that this technique, looking at the {span style=”text-decoration: underline;”}real{/span} address between the “<>” brackets, should be something you always do for {span style=”text-decoration: underline;”}all{/span} your email. Messages that {span style=”text-decoration: underline;”}appear{/span} to be from friends or family might not actually be from them.

Two more examples: The following emails included fake invoices that the scammers hoped some careless person would pay. Do not open attachments!


  • From: Purchase department <>
  • Subject: Payment Swift Copy



  • From: Citi Paylink <>
  • Subject: Payment Advice-BCS_ECS9522019111121380024_1206_952


Don’t click on any links in emails:

The following are some example scam email messages that contained malicious links instead of attachments. The scammers are trying to fool you into clicking malicious links.


  • From: Ziu Cheng <>
  • Subject: Please re-confirm your shipment details



  • From: Notification <>
  • Subject: Email Blocked Notice



  • From: Postmaster <
  • Subject: Email Blocked Alert!!!


Even if you believe the email is really from your email provider or a company you patronize, do not click on the link! {span style=”text-decoration: underline;”}Go to the company’s main web site and look for messages there{/span}. If there really is a message for you, it will be there.

Do not fall for phishing:

“Phishing” is the term for scam emails that attempt to fool you into giving up your personal and financial information. See the screen snapshot, above, of a recent one that was pretty creative.

When you read it, it appears to be about some kind of award from some legal settlement. The subject is “RE: Your Conpensation” and the message begins with “Our records indicate that you are eligible to receive restitution for one or more of the internet fraud schemes...”.

They want you to respond to the email “to start receiving your restitution benefits”. Of course, the moment you contact them, they will tell you that, to receive your benefits, they will need all your banking information.

Is it legitimate? Unlike many scam emails, it doesn’t contain any attachments or links. They only want you to contact them. It is a scam. Let’s look carefully:

While it claims to be from “Christopher Wray, FBI: Internal Relations” the from address is not “” or anything similar but “”. The address they want you to respond to is “”. These inconsistencies are big red flags.

It is common for scam email to contain bad grammar and misspellings. This one is no exception: “Conpensation”, “VICTIM,S”, “you,ve”. More red flags.

Notice the lack of anything specific or personal to you: “Attn: Beneficiary”, “INTENDED ONLY FOR:(VICTIM,s EMAIL)”.

If you are not sure about an email, look carefully at the message. There are always errors and inconsistencies if the email is not legitimate.

If you remain suspicious and take your time, you can rather easily uncover even fairly convincing scams.

Remember: Be careful, be suspicious and be safe.

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