Evaluating E-mail messages - Scam or no scam
Questions to ask yourself
The standard sniff tests on evaluating E-mail attachments or links are (more than 2 below and it's probably phishing/scam):
- Were you expecting it?
- Do you know the person? (Just recognizing the persons name doesn't automatically make the message safe, viruses are sent with name of people you know)
- Does it make sense you'd be getting this?
- Does the content of the message (file or URL) jive with the rest of the message?
- From:, Replyto:, sending server etc. Are there anomalies?
- Is the language/spelling have the proper syntax (does it look like it's written by someone that doesn't speak English as their first language)?
- Research extra info of the message (Address make sense, call phone numbers etc)
If you wanted to investigate a little further in other cases, you can do a virus scan online using many virus scanners:
- Save the pdf to your computer without opening it (or viewing in explorer with the preview pane enabled)
- Goto www.virustotal.com and upload/scan the file.
Note that handling virus files are safe to save/cut/copy/paste/move around and handle (and just doing that will make your Antivirus scan the file automatically). You get in trouble when you open/view/preview/etc it with a program/application/windows preview function etc.
In this case the warning signs are:
- juno.com is an old ISP/E-mail system, infrequently used on a regular basis
- You don't know the person
- Could go either way on the language composition
- Googling the address shows it's a residential house not a business: https://www.google.com/maps/place/9236+Avers+Ave,+Evanston,+IL
- Why is a business using Juno?
- Rhetta Perkins doesn't appear in a google search, Primus LLC doesn't seem to be in that location/state
- Google search of the phone number doesn't show anything that matches other info (it's a mobile phone)
- Virustotal reports: https://www.virustotal.com/en/file/692dd86f1bd1f699c2d382eb8bfca7cf26f34621ca3248e620288fec762200f3/analysis/
I give this example high probability that it's a scam.
Checking the E-mail header information results in even more mismatching information:
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