How to Identify Email Spoofing

How to Identify Email Spoofing

A Guide to Spotting and Stopping Email Impersonators

Are you aware that it's quite simple for email fraudsters to fake the sender's address in an email? This technique, known as email spoofing, complicates the process of identifying fraudulent emails.

Email spoofing involves the act of crafting an email that appears to have been sent from someone else, not the true sender. By manipulating the sender's address, fraudsters aim to convince the recipient that the message comes from a trusted source, such as a manager, educator, or financial institution. This manipulation makes recipients more inclined to interact with the email, as they believe it's from a familiar contact.

You can protect your work email domain from getting spoofed by implementing SPF (Sender Policy Framework), DMARC (Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance), and DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Mail) records in your DNS (Domain Name System). These technologies are designed to authenticate outbound emails from your domain, helping to prevent email spoofing and ensuring that your emails are more likely to be delivered successfully.

But if you are using a free email, you have to check the source of your received email to make sure that the sender is the real sender.

For example, if you are using gmail.com you need to check the mailed-by attribute and make sure it is the domain name sending the email. In this example, you received an email from a gmail.com domain, you need to make sure that mailed-by is gmail.com as shown below.

If you are using Outlook, you need to check the email header. Open the email, go to File, and then click Properties and you can read the header of the email. Check the Return-Path or Reply-To Address, this address is used for bounce-back messages and responses. In a legitimate email, the return-path usually matches the sender's address. A discrepancy here can indicate spoofing.

Related Articles:

https://www.cmu.edu/iso/news/2020/email-spoofing.html

https://support.google.com/a/answer/10583557?hl=en

https://cybernews.com/secure-email-providers/email-spoofing/