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Example Spam Email For Testing: 21 Cases

With the rise of cyber threats, the lines between genuine emails and malicious ones have blurred. A staggering 45% of email traffic in 2021 was identified as spam, with many of these emails crafted for fraudulent purposes.

As cyber criminals become more sophisticated, even the most tech-savvy individuals can fall prey to phishing emails that convincingly impersonate reputable brands, from Microsoft to Wells Fargo. This presents a dual challenge for businesses and marketers: ensuring their legitimate emails don’t get flagged as spam or a phishing attack while protecting their networks and data from malicious emails. This article delves into examples of spam messages, showcasing the hallmarks of poor email deliverability and providing insights on testing your emails.

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Why Some Emails Are Flagged as Spam Messages Or Phishing Emails

Emails being flagged as spam is a common issue faced by both individuals and businesses. Understanding the reasons behind this can help in crafting better emails and ensuring they reach the intended recipients. Here’s why some emails end up in the spam folder:

  • Impersonation and Phishing Attempts: Cybercriminals often impersonate well-known brands or individuals to deceive recipients. Emails that seem to be from reputable companies like Microsoft or banks but are not can be flagged as spam.

  • Suspicious Links and Attachments: Emails containing links to untrustworthy sites, unexpected malicious attachments, or several links can be seen as threats by email service providers and thus be flagged.

  • Misleading Subject Lines: Overly aggressive subject lines, those that promise too-good-to-be-true offers, or use excessive capitalization and punctuation can trigger spam filters.

  • Content Quality: Emails with numerous typos, grammatical errors, or that use known spammy phrases (e.g., “You’ve won a million dollars!”) are more likely to be flagged.

  • High Email Volume: Sending a large number of emails in a short time, especially from a new email account or IP address, can be seen as spamming behavior.

  • Lack of Personalization: Generic emails that don’t address the recipient by name or seem irrelevant to them can end up in the spam folder.

  • Unauthenticated Senders: Emails sent from servers or domains without proper authentication (like SPF, DKIM, or DMARC) can be flagged as they might be seen as potential phishing attempts.

  • User Feedback: If a significant number of recipients mark an email as spam, email providers will learn from this feedback and might flag similar future emails as spam.

  • Violation of Email Sending Best Practices: Not including an unsubscribe link, sending to old or purchased email lists, or not using a recognizable sender name can all lead to emails being flagged.

  • Spam Trap Hits: Email providers set up spam traps, which are email addresses used solely to catch spammers. Sending to one of these addresses, often found in old or purchased email lists, can result in being flagged. Here’s a guide on how to spot spam trap email addresses.

What Are Examples Of Spam Emails?

The sheer volume of emails sent daily has given rise to a significant challenge: distinguishing genuine emails from malicious ones. Spam emails, often unsolicited and sent in bulk, are designed to achieve various objectives, from promoting products to executing scams. Here are some common examples of spam emails:

21 Examples Of Spam Emails Or Phishing Attacks

Here are 21 examples of spam emails and phishing scams, many of which are alarmingly sophisticated:

1. Tech Support Phishing

These phishing attacks impersonate tech companies like Microsoft. These emails use scare tactics, such as warnings about viruses or compromised accounts, to trick users into paying for unnecessary technical support. Often, they’ll provide a phone number to call, leading to further scams or malware installation.

2. Tax Refund Phishing Scam

Posing as the IRS or other tax agencies, these emails play on the allure of unexpected refunds. They request money for “processing fees” or personal details to “verify identity,” exploiting the recipient’s desire for a quick financial gain.

3. Suspicious Activity Alert

Crafted to induce panic, these emails, pretending to be from reputable companies like Microsoft or Wells Fargo, warn about unusual account activity or unauthorized logins, urging immediate action which often leads to phishing sites.

4. Social Media Phishing

By impersonating support teams from platforms like Facebook or Twitter, these emails might claim there’s a problem with the recipient’s account. They aim to steal login credentials or other personal data by directing users to fake login pages.

5. Bogus Payment Confirmation

These emails mimic legitimate transaction receipts from service providers or online stores, often prompting users to click on links if they “didn’t authorize the purchase,” leading to phishing sites or malware downloads.

6. Incorrect Billing Information

Using the threat of service interruption, these emails press recipients to update their billing details on fake websites, effectively stealing credit card or bank details.

7. False iCloud Update

Crafted to look like official communications from Apple, these emails claim there’s a need to update or verify iCloud details, targeting Apple ID credentials which can provide access to a plethora of personal data.

8. HR Survey Scam

Disguised as internal company communications, these emails might claim to be gathering employee feedback or verifying details for payroll, tricking employees into divulging personal or company information.

9. Google Docs Scam

These emails, impersonating Google Docs invitations, often target corporate users. Clicking on the link can lead to phishing sites or allow malicious website scripts to access the user’s contact list.

10. USPS Phishing

Playing on the recipient’s anticipation or curiosity, these fake notifications claim a package can’t be delivered, prompting users to click on a link to “reschedule delivery” or “verify address,” leading to scams or malware.

11. Fake Voicemail Notifications

Designed to pique curiosity, these emails claim the recipient has missed a call or received a voicemail, with links that, when clicked, can download malware or lead to phishing sites.

12. Bogus Invoice

These emails, often targeting businesses, send fake invoices for services or products never purchased. They bank on the recipient paying without verifying, leading to financial loss.

13. Email Upgrade Scam

Claiming limited storage or a need to verify the account, these emails push users to “upgrade” or “confirm” their email account, often leading to phishing sites.

14. Dropbox Phishing

By mimicking Dropbox share notifications, these emails aim to steal Dropbox credentials or spread malware when the recipient clicks on the “view file” link.

15. CEO Phishing

A subtype of spear phishing, these emails impersonate high-ranking company officials, requesting urgent wire transfers or sensitive company data, exploiting the recipient’s sense of duty and urgency.

16. Bank Scam

Posing as communications from banks, these emails might warn of unauthorized transactions or account issues, leading recipients to phishing sites where their banking account details are stolen.

17. Generic Drug Offers

These emails promote pharmaceutical products at heavily discounted prices, often selling counterfeit or unsafe medications from unverified sources.

18. Foreign Lottery Wins

Playing on the dream of sudden wealth, these emails claim the recipient has won a foreign lottery. They’re asked to pay fees or taxes upfront, only to receive nothing in return.

19. Travel and Vacation Scams

Offering dream vacations at unbelievably low prices, these emails often lead to sites that steal personal and financial details or sell non-existent travel packages.

20. Ransomware Emails

These emails contain seemingly innocuous attachments, like invoices or photos. When opened, they encrypt the user’s data, demanding a ransom for its release.

21. Friendship or Romance Scams

Posing as potential friends or romantic partners, these emails build trust over time, eventually scamming money or personal details from the unsuspecting victim.

How Do I Send A Spam Email For Testing?

How can you be certain your emails won’t be flagged as spam? Enter MailGenius, a leading solution in the realm of spam testing.

  • Visit MailGenius: Head to the MailGenius platform.

  • Input Your Email Details: Draft your email within your preferred email service provider and send it to the unique address provided by MailGenius.

  • Analyze and Refine: Once MailGenius receives your email, it will conduct a thorough analysis, highlighting potential issues and offering actionable solutions.

  • Retest and Deploy: After making the recommended changes, retest your email to ensure all issues are resolved. Once you get the green light, you’re ready to launch your campaign with confidence!