Millions of emails are sent and received everyday by Internet users across the globe. However, not all of these emails are genuine. Although there has been increasing efforts to enlighten users about the dangers of Internet fraud, many still fall victim to this disgusting act.
Recently, I received a call from a friend who had been sent one of such emails purportedly from Yahoo customer Care (see/click image below) threatening to deactivate his account unless he replied to the message with his personal details. The email looked legitimate at first glance as it contained Yahoo banners, links to the original Yahoo home page and an ‘expired’ Yahoo web survey. However, it took me less than 10 seconds to know that it was a scam and I will tell you how.
1. The Sender Information: this is located in the header section and usually contains the name of the sender and the email address from which it was sent. In this case, the sender information appeared as follows;
“From: Yahoo! Mail Team Service <[email protected]>”
Now note that although the sender’s name was ‘Yahoo! Mail Team Service’, the sender’s address, in the angle bracket revealed otherwise. Now that is certainly NOT a message from the Yahoo customer services!
2. Spelling Errors: this is almost always present in such emails. An official message from Yahoo will not contain grammatical blunders and spelling mistakes such as those commonly found in hoax emails.
3. Yahoo Policy: the following should be a standard rule of thumb for all Internet users. Never give away your personal information on the Internet especially when requested through an email. Most reputable organisations, such as Yahoo, have a policy never to ask for your password let alone other personal information through emails.
Although the above list is non-exhaustive, the presence of any one of the three should be enough to arouse your suspicion. So there you go, you have no more excuses to fall victim of such email pranks.