Suspicious E-mails

This document explains how you deal with spoofing and phishing e-mails.

Document 5708  ¦  Last updated:  02/15/2017 ACN

If you're receiving suspicious e‑mail that indicates it is from your account, from another reputable source like a la mode, or you're receiving "delivery failure" message that appear to be from someone at a la mode then you've been hit with an e‑mail spoofing or e‑mail phishing attack.  Sometimes the messages even appear to be from an imaginary address on your domain.

Here are some important things to know about suspicious e‑mail that you receive:

  • Spammers can fake, or "spoof", the "from" address on any message, so there's no need to worry about a security breach if a message appears as though it came from your computer.  As a matter of fact, a SPAM system may intentionally put your domain in the from address so that your SPAM filter will let it pass through.
  • Messages to an imaginary address indicating a delivery failure probably aren't delivery failures from your system or domain.  These are often the result of a virus (NOT one on your PC or our servers!) designed to bog down the PC of the unfortunate victim by just sending loads of e‑mail to imaginary addresses.
  • Messages that request credit card information or that ask you to verify your account information are an attempt to fraudulently acquire your personal information.  This type of e‑mail attack is called "phishing".

Most legitimate businesses will never use e‑mail as a means to request account information.  Don't ever provide personal information via e‑mail without verifying the request is legitimate.

Reminder: a la mode will never ask for your password via e‑mail.


There's not much that can be done to prevent "spoofing" and "phishing" attacks.  For these types of attacks, we recommend:

Phishing Attacks - Install Antivirus Software & Keep It Updated

Many e‑mail attacks this are spread through virus programs that can infect your computer.  Running antivirus software with the latest updates is one of the most effective ways to protect yourself from becoming a victim, or possible source, of SPAM attacks.

Spoofed e‑mail - Enable a SPF Record for Your CertMail Domain

A Sender Policy Framework (SPF) record helps prevent "spoofed" e‑mail messages.  A SPF record allows other e‑mail servers to identify and reject e‑mails using a forged FROM address by specifying what servers are authorized to transmit e‑mail for that domain.

a la mode can enable SPF records for customers having problems with receiving "spoofed" e‑mail messages.  However, SPF records will only work under very specific circumstances.  Contact our Technical Support department if you're interested in adding a SPF record to your CertMail domain.  We can help determine if this is a viable solution for you.

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