9 Distinct Features of a Phishing Email

Posted on Jul 21 2022 - 2:04am by Editor

Phishing emails are one of the most common types of email scams. They often look very similar to legitimate messages, but they contain malicious links or attachments that can infect your computer or steal your personal information. In order to protect yourself from phishing attacks, it is important to be aware of the distinct features of these emails. Here are the nine most common signs that an email is a phishing scam.

1. Unrealistic Threats and Demands

A phishing email will often contain threats or demands to get the recipient to take immediate action. These can include things like “Your account will be closed if you do not respond within 24 hours” or “We have detected suspicious activity on your account.” These threats are usually unrealistic and are not actually related to the recipient’s account or activities.

2. Generic Greetings

Another common sign of a phishing email is a generic greeting such as “Dear Valued Customer” or “Hello, Friend.” Legitimate companies will usually address their customers by name in their emails.

3. Incorrect Grammar and Spelling

Phishing emails often contain poor grammar and spelling errors. This is another sign that the message is not coming from a legitimate source.

4. Urgent Requests for Personal Information

Phishing emails often request personal information such as passwords, Social Security numbers, or credit card details. They may also include a link to a fake website that looks like a legitimate company’s site to trick the recipient into entering their information.

5. Suspicious Links and Attachments

Phishing emails may contain links to malicious websites or attachments that can infect your computer with malware. Services like WeTransfer security help to identify these links and attachments often disguised as being from a legitimate source. However, Is WeTransfer safe? Yes, it notifies you anytime you receive a phishing email.

6. Images that do Not Display Properly

Another sign of a phishing email is images that do not display correctly when the email is viewed in an email program such as Outlook or Gmail. This usually happens because the sender has used an HTML code incompatible with the email program.

7. Message Format that is Unusual for the Sender

Phishing emails will often have a message format different from what you would normally expect from the sender. For example, if you typically receive emails from a company in plain text format, but you receive one from them in HTML format, it could be a phishing email.

8. The “From” Address does Not Match the Sender

Phishing emails will often have a “From” address that does not match the actual email address of the sender. This is done to make the email appear to be from a legitimate source.

9. The Email Contains a Spoofed Logo

A phishing email may contain a logo that has been spoofed or fake to make the email appear to be from a legitimate company. This is usually done by copying the logo from a legitimate website and then using it in the email.


If you receive an email that contains any of the above signs, it is likely a phishing email. Do not open any links or attachments in the email, and do not reply to it. If you are unsure whether an email is a phishing scam, you can contact the company that is supposedly sending the email.