How to spot a fake

The Commerce Department provided some good advice on how to spot a fake e-mail or Web link:

  • Look for suspicious typos and grammatical errors.
  • Hover your mouse over the sender’s address to see if the real address is different.
  • Copy and paste the text into Notepad (not Word). Notepad does not support HTML, so if a link is fake, the real link will show up.
  • Avoid filling out forms in e-mail messages that ask for personal information.
  • Look up and log on to the official website instead of “linking” to it from an unsolicited e-mail.
  • Contact the actual business or agency that supposedly sent the e-mail to find out if it’s genuine. Look up phone numbers or e-mail addresses rather than using contact info provided in an e-mail.