6 Ways to Spot Spam

1. Requests for Personal Information
No professional organization will ask for your social security, bank, check, or PIN number in an e-mail.  Mark these emails as SPAM and delete them promptly without responding.

2. Spelling and Grammar Mistakes
The worse the spelling and grammar, the more likely it’s a SPAM email.  Delete and move on.


3. Click-able Links
Don’t trust links in e-mails. What might look like a legitimate link is often linked to a third-party site that looks official, but is actually run by the emailing scammers.  For example, if you get an email that looks like it’s from your bank telling you your account is closed, type your usualy banking URL into your browser to check it directly (instead of clicking the link in the email).  You may find that the email is SPAM.  Mark it as such and delete it.

4. Attachments in e-mails from anyone you don’t know
Never open an attachment from someone you don’t know. It’s likely a virus or spyware that will sit on your computer to steal your personal information.

5. Outdated Info
Some scammers like to pretend to be customer support from a company you trust, but slip up when it comes to accuracy. For example, in the picture, the  below, the spammers forgot Earthlink bought Mindspring in 2000.

6. Alarming Phrases
“Verify your account,” “you won!” or “if you don’t respond in __ hours, your account will be locked” are phrases that ONLY appear in SPAM.  Mark it and delete without clicking or replying.

Business Email Etiquette

Once a company gets its online presence (designs their site, has a web hosting plan, etc) chances are they are going to want to communicate with customers through email.

If a customer emails you with a question, the risk of your reply being considered spam is practically nonexistent.  But if you send out emails (either advertisements, helpful info, or updates), there are some steps you need to take to make sure your customers (and potential customers) don’t think of your message as spam:

1) Send Messages From an Understandable Email Address

If customers visit “www.YourCompanySiteABC.com” to learn about and purchase your products, your email addresses should all be “@YourCompanySiteABC.com”.  If messages are being sent from another domain (like “YourCompanySiteABC@gmail.com”), many customers might not trust the emails.  If you need help getting domain email, EarthLink has you covered!

1b) Use a “White Listed” Service

If you’re going to be sending out mass emails, make sure you use a service that has a good reputation,  (If you send out too many messages, your URL can be “black listed” for sending spam, just based on volume)  Constant Contact is an example of such a service.

2) Never Require Personal Information in a Reply

Never ask a customer to reply to an email with personal information.  Have them log into your site to submit (if you have that functionality), or call you directly.

3) Only Include Links to Your Website

Only send people, through email links, to places on your website they have seen before.  If you try to send them somewhere else, be prepared to get a low response OR calls wondering what you’re doing.

4) Check, Double Check, and Triple Check Your Spelling/Grammar

Spelling mistakes are often a sign of spam, so avoid this by double checking your text.

5) Be To-the-Point

The more to-the-point your email is, the more people will read it.  If you include long passages of “convincing language,” your email may come across as desperate (which is how many scammers come across).

6) Don’t Email Too Much

Even legitimate companies can spam (over-communicate and flood inboxes.  We recommend once to three times a month at maximum.

Don’t Be Mistaken for Spam

Once a company gets its online presence (designs their site, has a web hosting plan, etc) chances are they are going to want to communicate with customers through email.

If a customer emails you with a question, the risk of your reply being considered spam is practically nonexistent.  But if you send out emails (either advertisements, helpful info, or updates), there are some steps you need to take to make sure your customers (and potential customers) don’t think of your message as spam:

1) Email From a Recognizable Address

If customers visit “www.YourCompanySiteABC.com” to buy your products, your email addresses should all be “@YourCompanySiteABC.com”.  If they’re not, many customers might not trust the emails.  If you need help getting domain email, EarthLink has you covered!

1b) Use a “White Listed” Service

If you’re going to be sending out mass emails, make sure you use a service that has a good repuatation,  (If you send out too many, your URL can be “black listed” for sending spam, just based on volume)  Constant Contact is an example of such a service.

2) Never Ask for Personal Information

Never ask a customer to reply to an email with personal information.  Have them log into your site to submit (if you have that functionality), or call you directly.

3) Only Link to Your Website

Only send people, through email links, to places on your website they have seen before.  If you try to send them somewhere else, be prepared to get a low response OR calls wondering what you’re doing.

4) Check, and Double Check, Your Spelling/Grammar

Spelling mistakes are often a sign of spam, so avoid this by double checking your text.

5) Keep it Short

The more to-the-point your email is, the more people will read it.  If you include long passages of “convincing language,” your email may come across as desperate (which is how many scammers come across).

6) Don’t Email Often

Even legitimate companies can spam (over-communicate and flood inboxes.  We recommend once to three times a month at maximum.

4 Simple Ways to Spot Spam!

Email helps us keep in touch with friends, communicate quickly with coworkers, and receive messaging from businesses we interact with (like banks, service providers, and even coupon services!).  We share our email address with people and companies we trust, and as a result, our instinct is to trust every message that hits our inbox.

But the sad reality is that, much like our physical mailing addresses, entities we do not provide our info to can send things to us…and these emails can sometimes be malicious.  These emails are called “phishing,” “scam” or simply “spam” emails, and should be reported (“mark as spam” in your email inbox, deleted/ignored, and/or reported directly to your email provider…NEVER respond).

Here are 4 simple ways to spot a scam email:

1) There are misspellings.  Unless the email is from a friend (and there are no links to click on), this message is probably a hastily-put-together spam email.

2) The email asks for personal info.  No reputable company will EVER ask you to reply to an email with personal information.  They will refer you to their legitimate website.

3) There are links in the email that aren’t what they promise to be.  If you get an email from a bank, and the link sends you to a website that LOOKS like your bank, but the URL (the web address in the navigation bar…for example, “www.google.com” is the URL for google”) is not ACTUALLY for your bank, the email is 100% spam.  Do not enter your personal info.

TIP: To be SURE, even if you do receive legitimate emails from your bank (or any entity you log into), don’t click the email links.  Instead, visit the website on your own to make sure you’re always visiting the right website.

4) There is an attachment.  Do not open attachments that aren’t (a) from people on your contact list who have told you an attachment was coming, and (b) attachments containing info that YOU requested from a business.

TIP: Make sure the customer service person sending you the attachment has an email address “example@thewebsiteyouexpect.com”