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Warning: Do Not Open E-Mails With These Characteristics

Margaret Minnicks has been an online writer for many years. She writes about interesting things.


Some people open every e-mail they get without paying too much attention to the evidence that they are fake ones.

With close attention, anyone can tell which one should be put in the trash without being opened.

Here are the main characteristics of a fake e-mail that will cause your account to be hacked if you open it.

Pay Attention to Misspelled Sender's E-Mail Address

The very first thing that should capture your attention is the sender's e-mail address. A reputable company will not have a personal address.

Sometimes a hacker will use an address similar to a company's real address. For example, if you think you are getting an e-mail from the Bank of America, it might show us as Bnk of America. Most people overlook the misspelling.

Notice the Bad Formatting

People should pay attention to bad formatting in e-mails. For instance, if there are blank spaces or gaps in the document, it's more than likely fake and not from a professional company.


It is a major mistake to click on any links in an e-mail if you don't know who it is from. The attachment could be a method to get all your personal information or contain viruses and malware.

Beware of Unbelievable Deals

Everybody likes free stuff and deals. Resist the temptation to click on a link that promises that you will get a prize because you might get more than you bargained for.

If you know you have not entered a drawing, don't click on a link that says you are a winner.

Spot Grammatical Errors

A great number of e-mail from hackers have grammatical errors. If you find at least one, it should be a red flag. They might be small mistakes such as missing apostrophes or apostrophes in the wrong place.

Be very suspicious and do not click on links for any attachment. Trash the e-mail without going further.

Pay Attention to Affectionate Greetings

Business and professional e-mails do not use terms of endearment. If you receive one, do not open it. It is not something you want to read or get involved with.

Beware Unexpected E-Mails

Beware of an e-mail from a company saying you have an account when you don't or that you ordered something from them when you didn't. Be leery of an e-mail from a company that says your order is ready when you didn't order anything. It is probably from a hacker.


  1. Stay clear of e-mails with misspelled words in the sender's address.
  2. If you do open the e-mail, notice any bad formatting.
  3. If you spot a grammatical error, it is probably not from a reputable company.
  4. Do not click on any links.
  5. Know that professional business do not greet anyone with terms of endearment.
  6. Do not respond to attachments saying you have won a prize.
  7. Ignore e-mails indicating your order is ready when you didn't order anything.


Warning signs your email has been hacked

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.


Margaret Minnicks (author) from Richmond, VA on July 29, 2018:

Kim, You can set your computer to block spam mail. Someone can still send it, but your computer won't allow it to get through if you have set it to not receive mail from certain people or mail with certain keywords in it.

Margaret Minnicks (author) from Richmond, VA on January 17, 2018:

Eric, thanks for reading and sharing your comments. You are absolutely right about scammers getting wiser.

Eric Farmer from Rockford Illinois on January 17, 2018:

Very useful advice. The thing is though some scammers are getting somewhat wiser. They are making sure the email looks nice as well.

Gmail tends to just mark most suspicious looking emails as spam on its own thankfully.

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on January 15, 2018:

Good to know because we get so many of these daily. Thanks for the warnings.