Don’t take the bait: How to identify phishing emails?

  • A phishing email is a deceptive message designed to deceive recipients into disclosing sensitive information such as passwords or credit card details.
  • We can detect it by being careful while answering public domain emails, avoiding misspelled domain names and spotting poorly written emails.

This article will introduce the definition and ways to detect a phishing email.

What is a phishing email?

A phishing email refers to a deceptive message designed to deceive recipients into disclosing sensitive information such as passwords or credit card details. These emails typically mimic trusted entities such as banks or well-known websites to appear trustworthy. Their goal is to exploit the recipient’s trust in these organisations, convincing them to divulge personal data, click on harmful links, or download attachments that may contain malware.

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How to detect a phishing email?

1. Be careful while answering public domain emails

Cybercriminals often target businesses and individuals with emails posing as legitimate entities like banks or government agencies. These emails instruct recipients to click links for validating personal and account details. While smaller businesses might use public email accounts, larger organisations typically have private domains.

Using public email for transactions may seem convenient but introduces vulnerabilities. Hackers can intercept sensitive information or infect communications with viruses. Public email networks lack the security of private business accounts, often used by spammers and cybercriminals due to their low domain reputation and free availability.

2. Avoiding misspelled domain names and emails

One common phishing tactic involves attackers impersonating legitimate brands through email addresses that closely resemble the target company’s domain. Domain names are purchasable by anyone and can be manipulated to appear very similar to authentic addresses. This similarity can deceive recipients into believing the email is from a trusted source, even though it’s sent from a fake address designed to evade scrutiny.

Receiving messages from seemingly official corporate accounts is a typical scenario. Attackers exploit slight variations in domain names, such as substituting characters like “rn” for “m,” to create deceptive addresses. This tactic relies on recipients overlooking minor differences, potentially leading to successful phishing attacks if even one person falls for the ruse. For instance, an email meant to appear as might actually be sent from, exploiting visual similarities to deceive recipients.

3. Spotting poorly written emails

A reliable method to identify phishing attempts is by scrutinising the email’s spelling and grammar. Phishers aim to create messages convincing enough to prompt recipients to click links and disclose account details. Legitimate emails from organisations typically exhibit proper grammar and spelling. Emails containing multiple grammatical errors, despite lacking specific misspellings, are often indicators of phishing attempts, as they suggest a level of language proficiency inconsistent with official communications.


Audrey Huang

Audrey Huang is an intern news reporter at Blue Tech Wave. She is interested in AI and startup stories. Send tips to

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