How do I identify a phishing e-mail?

Most of us have already received phishing e-mail. Sometimes it is immediately obvious that the message is not a genuine e-mail from the alleged recipient. But in other cases the criminals are very professional and only upon closer inspection will it be apparent that the e-mail is not from the sender it claims to be from. You can prevent a phishing attack in most cases by observing the following recommendations, because phishing e-mails usually contain the following components:

  • At first sight, the links appear genuine. However, if you look at the URL more closely, it will become clear you are not directed to an official page, e.g. of a company, but rather to a different fake website. Often the links contain similar but not identical spellings. These can be simple spelling mistakes such as instead of
  • You will be requested to enter your account information and other confidential credentials. Remember Your bank will never ask for your login data for online banking via e-mail.
  • The website looks real right at first glance, but often not all the menu items function. If you suspect any irregularities, check the menu items selectively and check whether the address in the address bar of your browser changes significantly.
  • The mail contains spelling mistakes. Serious companies will always be anxious to send error-free and grammatically correct texts in their e-mails.
  • The sender’s name looks real, but the e-mail address is not.
  • The language is different from the language usually used by the institution with which you occasionally communicate by e-mail. Usually, if you communicate with your bank in your native language, there is no reason why the bank should suddenly contact you in another language.
  • The e-mail does not contain a personal greeting.
  • Pressure is exerted to follow the instructions as quickly as possible. Take your time. In case of really urgent matters, the relevant institution will always contact you through another channel.