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Monday, 9 January 2012

How to Detect Fake Emails

1. Lets get back to the example I illustrated in my article Fake Mailer. I had used "support@gmail.com" as the sender email address. No doubt, this was fake and the receiver will get the fake email sent by me.

2. Suppose you are the receiver. Now, I will tell you how to recognize this mail as fake. Open the email and hit on "Show Details".

3. Something you must know:

Whenever Google sends you any email, the email details will contain fields like:
- Mailed by
- Signed by (optional)
Also, most of the times, "Mailed by" field will have value:
*.bounces.google.com or

depending on the type of your mail. This is true for every genuine email from every mail provider.

4. But, these two fields will not be present in the details of Fake Mail. Also, if the mail details contain these fields, the value of these fields will not be *.google.com

Fake Mail without "Mailed by" field:

Fake Mail with "Mailed by" field.

As you can see, the "mailed by" field shows the hosting server's name and not the Google server. This means, this server is used to send you the fake email and most probably, the fake mailer is hosted on the same server.
You can also check out the header field to detect fake mails. Follow the steps:

- Open the mail. Hit on down arrow next to "Reply" and click on "Show Original".
 Now, check out "Received" fields. This field will show you the name of server from which the mail is sent. As you can see, we have used "emkei.cz" as our fake mailer. So, it has appeared in "Received" field.

More Tips:

- Fake Mail usually have attractive titles.
- Such mails address receiver as "Dear Customer" or such and do not use your real name.
- Never click on any link in emails. Instead, open such links manually in new tab. Refer my article Anti-Phishing measures for more information.

Follow these tips and you will be able to recognize fake, spoof, spam emails. If you know any other useful tip to detect fake or spam emails, please share it with us in comments. 


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