Email Spoofing

February 16, 2021

From time to time, suspect emails arrive in inboxes that appear to come from someone within the Louisiana Conference organization. Specifically, these emails appear to come from someone whose email normally ends in la-umc.org. However, the emails in question are arriving from sources such as Gmail or Hotmail. 

These emails are known as spoof emails.

You can read more about email spoofing in this Cybernews article where it is defined as "the act of sending emails with a forged sender address. The email tricks the recipient into thinking that someone they know or trust sent them the email. Usually, it’s a tool of a phishing attack, designed to take over your online accounts, send malware, or steal funds.

It’s very difficult to isolate the source of these spoofs. However, it’s fairly easy to spot a spoof as the return email will come from an email address outside of our organization.


For instance, a spoof email might come from a Gmail, Yahoo, or Hotmail account, such as wpricelaumc@gmail.com

Email correspondence from the Louisiana Conference will always come from an email with the extension: la-umc.org, not from other online sources.

Please be on the lookout for spoof emails as they are potentially dangerous.  
 

What to Do If You Receive One


Check out these helpful tips on what to do if you receive a suspicious email. They come to us from Immense.net
 

The key to avoiding spoofing attacks is learning how to recognize these malicious emails. A portion of this sounds like common sense. And in a way, it is. You just need to have your radar up.

Here are 5 quick tips to help you out.
 

  • Don’t trust the display name. Check the domain address. Often spoofed emails will come from a domain other than the official domain of the organization contacting you.
     
  • Don’t take anyone or anything at face value that asks for sensitive information. Always verify, and always use common sense. Almost no professional organization will ask you for sensitive information or login credentials via email.
     
  • Look for poor grammar and spelling. A lot of spoofing attacks come from foreign entities. You’re probably familiar with that Nigerian prince who always seems to need help getting his fortune into the right bank. View every email (even those from trusted sources) through a lens of professionality. If the language is anything less than business professional, beware…
     
  • Watch out for urgent language in subject lines or the email body. Often spoofed emails try to create a sense of urgency in order to get you to act with haste or without thinking clearly.
     
  • Look before you click. Often, spoofed emails present links (or linked text) under false pretenses. Click on these links and you might download malware. To avoid this, hover over the link with your cursor and inspect the destination. Even if the address the link forwards to seems valid, put it in context with the above tips before deciding whether it is safe to click or not.

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