How to Identify Phishing Attacks

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How to Identify Phishing Attacks

Phishing attacks now come in many ‘flavors’ and can be hard to spot. Phishing attacks attempt to steal sensitive information through emails that often look to be official communication from legitimate companies or individuals. Although there are anti-spam solutions, the best protection is awareness and education. Here are several telltale signs of a phishing scam:

  • Was the message already in your Junk email folder? – There are many existing email filters in place that will identify a message as a problem and direct it to Junk E-mail on purpose. This gives you the ability to look for false positives.  If the message is already in your Junk folder, it can be safely ignored.
  • Is the message expected? - If you get a notice from a company saying that your account needs attention, but you haven’t used that service in the past it’s not likely to be legitimate.
  • Does the Display Name match the sender’s email address? – If the sender’s name doesn’t match their email address, you should be extra careful.
    Example: “ From: Mrs Elizabeth Grímsson <>”
  • Is the email specifically addressed to you? - If a message isn’t personalized and is instead titled with something like “Dear Customer” then it’s likely part of a mass-mailing and can be safely ignored.
  • Does the email subject include phrases like: “Urgent”, “Attention”, or “Action Required” – Many phishing emails attempt to overcome your better judgement by cultivating panic. If you see an email that says something bad is going to happen, take a closer look before clicking.
  • Are the links or URLs not pointing to the expected location? – Many malicious emails include links that at first glance seem legitimate but take you to a separate website. If you hover your mouse over the link before clicking, you’ll be able to see where the link will direct you. In the following example the link looks like it’s taking you to “” but it is pointing to

What to do next?

If you have any doubts about an email’s legitimacy please notify us so we can not only verify if the email is legitimate, but also so we can make sure that all email filters are set properly to combat ever-changing threats.

You can open a service ticket with the following steps:

  1. Open the suspicious email
  2. Click on the ellipsis (…) in the top right corner of the Outlook window
  3. Select “Forward as Attachment"
  4. Send to

The Support Team
Dynamic Computing, Inc.

2505 Second Avenue, Suite 605 | Seattle, Washington 98121
Main: (206) 284·6200 | Toll Free: (855) 284·6200

  • Article Status: Consultant Initial Publish