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Check an Email for Detailed Sender Information

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In this extension, you will learn how to check email metadata, or full headers, to see if an email is a potential scam.

This is extra information stored in emails about the sender, origin, and routing of the message, or the path it took from the sender to the receiver.

Checking an email’s headers allows you to see exactly where it came from and how and when it was sent.

This information is easy to find, but you have to look for it.

To do this, you will: View your email’s full headers in Gmail, Copy metadata and paste it into the message header tool, And analyze your email headers.

To begin, go to your Gmail inbox.

Then, open an email.

Next, click the down arrow near the reply button...

...And show the original message.

Gmail and other email services run tests on every email that is sent or received as part of their message security.

The original message shows the results of these tests: pass or fail.

Pass means that the email is authentic, or real.

A test result of fail means that the email might be spam or a scam.

Three tests show whether an email might be an online scam by confirming the sender and origin of the message.

Look for the tests, called: S-P-F, D-KIM, and D-MARC.

Click Learn more for additional information about each test.

If you see a pass result to these tests, that means the email came from where it says it does.

It also means the email did not get sent to different places before arriving in your inbox, which is one way online scammers hide what they are doing.

Next, copy the text on the page.

Then, open the Message header tool in a new browser tab.

Paste your email header into the tool.

Then, analyze your header.

And view your results.

This will show the path your email took.

Direct emails from people generally have short, direct paths, or routing information.

Scam emails may show complex routing information, often with many locations and users listed.

Remember that scams can still come from emails that pass these tests.

Be careful when opening and answering emails from anyone you don’t know.

However, if an email has warning signs of a scam, its headers will show you.

Now, it’s your turn: Open your email, Show the original, Open the message header tool, Copy and paste your header into the tool, And analyze your header.

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