Protect yourself from e-mail spoofing

Federation Friday: Volume 1, Issue 22, November 30, 2018

Have you been spoofed? It’s no joke!

Over the past 2 years, several of my GFWC-NC related friends have received emails that look like they are from me. The header says “Julie Wolfe”, but the emails are not actually from my email address. The message may ask the receiver to contact “me” (reply to the phony address) or may direct her to purchase something that can be converted to cash and then contact “me” for further instructions. 

This summer a newly installed GFWC-NC club president experienced a similar problem just after the club website was updated to reflect the administration change. The newly installed club treasurer received an email which looked like it came from her club president with directions to issue club funds. Thankfully the club treasurer called the club president and they both realized the scam. 

Several GFWC-NC officers have had a similar experience as well, so it is important to be careful and observant. 

This is a fairly common form of spamming called email “Spoofing”. Someone has been “Spoofed” when they receive an email that looks like it comes from someone on their contact list, but it is not from that person’s actual email address. The ultimate goal of Spoofing is to trick the recipient into transferring funds to the bogus sender. 

Unfortunately, there is little to be done to prevent this. If the emails appear to be coming from you, changing your email address or your password will not solve the problem because the sender is using neither. 

It is equally difficult to prevent if you are the recipient. This is unlike typical spam and much harder to detect. Unfortunately, most malware or spam systems will not detect the issue. 

Be vigilant in double checking the email address of any sender before you take any action, especially when checking from your phone, which may not display the full email address of the sender. 

Have you been spoofed? If so, we would like to hear from you. We’re thinking that this issue is wide spread and we’d love your input. Please contact me. 

Julie Wolfe, GFWC-NC Public Issues CSP Chairman 

Techopedia explains Spoofing 

Spoofed emails may request personal information and may appear to be from a known sender. Such emails request the recipient to reply with an account number for verification. 

The email spoofer then uses this account number for identity theft purposes, such as accessing the victim’s bank account, changing contact details and so on. 

The attacker (or spoofer) knows that if the recipient receives a spoofed email that appears to be from a known source, it is likely to be opened and acted upon. 

A spoofed email may also contain additional threats like Trojans or other viruses. These programs can cause significant damage by triggering unexpected activities, remote access, deletion of files and more. Be careful! 



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