875 Hopkins Rd, Williamsville, NY 14221   716-213-4444   716-213-0612   HelpDesk Support

What Momma Never Told You About Avoiding Email Scams

smiling mother amongst junk email scamsOne of the common questions we get from clients are those asking if an email they received is valid. Unfortunately for them, this generally opens up a slightly annoying email exchange from us with various questions to try to determine the validity of said email. The answer is, its not a simple process, unfortunately! There are a number of factors to consider.

Start out with the very basics. Is this from an email address that you recognize? Does the other email information (First Name, Subject Line, Etc) match up with what you’re used to from the sender?

Suspicious: Is the “From Name” generally written “Mary Jane” but this time is listed as just “Mary”? Is her email generally an @verizon.com email but this time comes from @yahoo.com?

Next, move onto the content of the email itself. Is it formatted in a similar way to emails you have received from this person before?


Suspicious: Do emails from this sender usually use flawless punctuation but this email contains a lot of misspellings?

This information alone can generally help you pick out if an email is really from a friend. If you are still unsure, you could alwatys call the person and ask if they really did send the email. It's always better to be safe than sorry.

But what about a business? How do you know if a solicited email is really legitimate? Well, there are a number of signs.

First, have you received email from this company before? Have you recently done business with them where they would have asked for your email address? Sometimes you can eliminate emails right off the bat if they are a supposed response to something you know you didn’t do.

Suspicious: An email containing a supposed copy of your “receipt” for a company you haven’t visited in a long while.

Next, check the bottom of the email (called the “footer”) for contact information. Most legitimate companies will list their address, phone number, and an unsubscribe link at the bottom of the email as a form of legitimacy in order to get through sometimes overprotective spam-blocking software. Check the information provided against the official website for the company. A large company without any address in the footer is usually a cause for suspicion.

Suspicious: Does the email list an overseas address for an US-based company?

Check the links in the email, carefully. This isn’t really possible on a phone, but if you are on a desktop email client, you can hover your mouse over any outgoing links in the email to see in a pop-up or in the status bar where clicking the link will go to. Make sure all links go to the official website. It is not enough to look for the company name either. Some smart scammers will setup tricky domains like www.quadb.com.baddomain.com.

Suspicious: Does the email say free gift card to Bob’s Boutique but links to a different website?

Again, pay attention to the content of the email. Most businesses have proofreaders and won’t send out emails with spelling and grammar mistakes. Does the offer sound too good to be true? It probably is. If the email claims to be a “partner” of another company, wait until you receive an official notice of a partnership from the first company.

Suspicious: Frequent misspellings, or a brand name that is spelled incorrectly.

Now, there may also be the cause of concern regarding banks, credit cards, and other institutions that may send you payment notifications or missed payment notifications. As a general rule, just use the email only as reminder. Never click any links in these kinds of emails, just go to the website directly and you will never have to worry about the legitimacy. If you get a notification from your bank that says your account is in overdraft, go to the bank’s website directly, not through any links provided in the email, and check the status yourself.

Suspicious: A message that “Your checking account is in error!” when you only have a savings account.

Finally, take all emails with a sense of suspicion. Even if sent from someone you know, their email may have been hacked (meaning someone guessed their password and then logged in and started sending out emails). Offers that are “too good to be true” probably are. Scrutinize hyperlinks before clicking, or you might end up on a phishing page (one that looks like the website you are used to, but isn’t). You need to be more careful online these days to protect yourself and your data from identity thieves and hackers. Following these steps and approaching all emails with a sense of skepticism is a surefire way to keep yourself secure online.

What People Are Saying About Us

  • “I have gotten several compliments about the site (mostly from friends and family). I noticed that when I type in "Interim CFO Services Buffalo NY"  the site comes up around #1 on the first page.”

    Read more ...
  • "As a small business owner, I have found Buffalo Wired's creation and working of our website to be one of the most successful investments we have made.Read more ...

  • "Buffalo Wired simply keeps our office moving in such a way as to maximize the efficiency of both myself and my employees.Read more ...

  • "Buffalo Wired did a fantastic job designing our website and we couldn't be more pleased with the final result. We have gotten many compliments and have received such a favorable response from our clients."

    Read more ...
  • "Buffalo Wired has perfected the rare art of customer service. The Buffalo Wired team shows the utmost patience and concern for the satisfaction of their customers...they will not stop until you are more than happy."

    Read more ...
  • "It is a pleasure doing business with Buffalo Wired. Their people are friendly and understanding. They take the time to listen so that they can accomplish the image that you want for your company’s website.

    Read more ...
  • "After failing with two other outfits to have my website completed and functional I spoke with Buffalo Wired. From our first meeting to working along with my web master and then onto completion, I felt at ease.

    Read more ...
  • "We had been unsatisfied with our prior web service but were reluctant to make a change because of costs and not knowing if the service and product would be any better. 

    Read more ...
  •  "I love my new website! I no longer cringe when I send a perspective customer to view it. I waited a long time to have a "professional website". I am so glad I waited. I always thought I could not afford it.Read more ...

  • "From a technological infant knowing just enough to get into trouble on my own computer, I am so impressed and grateful to Buffalo Wired for designing our new Buffalo Choral Arts Society’s webpage.

    Read more ...

Social Media

Find Us

875 Hopkins Rd,
Williamsville, NY 14221

Click here for directions

Need Help?

Call: 716-213-4444
Email: Click Here

HelpDesk Support

Quad-B Systems - All The Technology A Business Needs

Quad-B Systems

17 Main Street, Hamburg, NY 14075


M-F: 9AM - 5PM