Spam or Not

Wondering if that email in your inbox is a legitimate request for business?  Here are some steps that I use to research if an email from a company is legitimate.

  1. Look at the original email – check the properties (usually a right click) of the From address to make sure that it matches what appears as a link – make sure the domain matches the company URL.
  2. Hover over any links in the email to see if the URL behind the link matches what is highlighted.
  3. If there is a phone number in the email, paste it in to Google or Bing or Yahoo as a search.
  4. Search for the company website using Google or another search engine. Look at the URL attached to the search results and check for inconsistencies with the email.
  5. Check LinkedIn for principles named in the email.
  6. For international companies, look for North American distribution of the product. If there is no Canadian distribution, it is less likely that there would be a claim in our jurisdiction.
  7. Check the Canadian Importers Database to see if a product is listed in the email and there is no apparent distributor in Canada. This database can be searched by product.
  8. Check the FBI eScams page or the RCMP reporting Economic Crime On-Line website for more information about email phishing.
  9. Check Dan Pinnington’s Avoid a Claim Blog for news of recent scams directed specifically at lawyers and law firms.
  10. Follow your law society Client Identification and Verification guidelines.


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