How To Report Spam Emails

How To Report Spam Emails
Table Of Contents

Spam emails and phishing attempts are an unfortunate aspect of the technological advances we love. It’s always important to be knowledgeable about these threats and even more important to know how to report them, as this helps protect individual users and the broader digital community from cyber threats

Reporting such incidents can lead to identifying and preventing new scams and apprehension of those behind them.

What Are Spam Emails and Phishing?

Spam emails and phishing attacks are key tools for scammers and hackers. These cybercriminals often employ sophisticated techniques, making their scams appear as genuine requests or notifications. 

They may lure their victims with promises of financial rewards, threaten them with false penalties, or impersonate legitimate organizations, all in an attempt to deceive and extract sensitive information.

Phishing attacks often involve the scammer posing as a reputable entity. The phishing email or text message will typically direct the unsuspecting recipient to a fake website, asking them to enter personal information such as login credentials, bank account details, or contact information. 

Hackers can then use this information to commit identity theft, gain unauthorized access to accounts, or sell the information to other criminals.

Social media and other apps are platforms that scammers exploit. They can create fake profiles or pages, send phishing messages through app chats, or post malicious links. Given the large amount of personal information people share on social media, falling for scams can have serious implications, ranging from identity theft to financial loss.

How To Identify Suspicious Emails and Phishing Attempts

There are several telltale signs of phishing attempts. One key indicator is the email header. Legitimate organizations typically use a domain that matches their official website. If the email header contains a string of unrecognizable characters or a domain that doesn't match the supposed sender's official website, it's likely a phishing attempt.

Another sign is poor grammar or spelling, which professional organizations are unlikely to allow in official communications. Also, legitimate organizations won't ask for sensitive information like passwords or bank account details via email.

Lastly, be cautious of unsolicited attachments or links. They may contain malware that, when downloaded or clicked, can infect your device and provide scammers access to your data.

What Are the Risks of Phishing Scams?

Phishing scams have many risks, the most severe being financial loss and identity theft. By tricking you into revealing your bank account or credit card numbers, scammers can make unauthorized transactions or even drain your accounts.

Your email account itself is also a prime target. With access to your email, scammers can reset passwords and gain control of your other accounts, including social media and online banking. They may also send phishing emails to your contacts, using your account to lend credibility to their scams.

Your phone number is another piece of information that scammers covet. With it, they can bypass two-factor authentication on your accounts or use it for smishing — a phishing method that uses text messages.

Phishing scams can also lead to unwanted subscriptions. Scammers can sign you up for premium services that charge hefty fees, further contributing to financial loss. Similarly, gift card scams are common, where scammers convince victims to pay for non-existent services or goods with gift cards.

The risks of phishing scams highlight the importance of being vigilant and taking immediate action when you suspect a phishing attempt. By understanding these risks, you can better safeguard your information and protect yourself from falling victim to such scams.

How To Report Spam Emails and Phishing Attempts

If you encounter a suspicious email or phishing attempt, it's important to report it to the appropriate authorities. 

Here's how to do it:


If you're using Gmail, select the suspicious email and click the "Report spam" button in the toolbar above your inbox. If you believe the email is a phishing attempt, click the "Report phishing" option in the drop-down menu. This helps Google identify and block the sender from sending more malicious emails.


For Outlook users, select the email, go to the "Junk" option in the toolbar, and click "Phishing" from the drop-down menu. You can also report the email as "Junk" if it's spam.

Federal Trade Commission (FTC) 

The FTC encourages individuals to report phishing attempts to the Anti-Phishing Working Group at and You should include the entire phishing email and any details of the scam. is a dedicated platform where you can report fraud, scams, and bad business practices. It is managed by the FTC and provides valuable resources for victims of phishing scams.

Anti-Phishing Working Group 

This international coalition unites the global response to cybercrime. They accept phishing email reports at By doing this, you contribute to their ongoing efforts to combat phishing.

Law Enforcement Agencies

If the phishing attempt involves threats of violence, extortion, or identity theft, it's recommended to report this to your local law enforcement agency. These crimes are serious, and law enforcement has the resources to investigate and, hopefully, apprehend the criminals behind them.

Remember, reporting these instances protects you and others by allowing these organizations to track and combat these cyber threats. Never reply to a suspicious email, click on any links, or download any attachments in the email. 

These actions could compromise your computer's security and expose your personal information. Always report, delete, and ensure your computer's security software is current.

What Are the Best Practices in Cybersecurity?

Cybersecurity should be a priority for all internet users. One of the simplest and most effective measures is vigilance over your notifications. Regularly check your bank, email, and social media notifications for any unfamiliar activities that could indicate a scam or phishing attempt.

Protecting your contact information is also important. Avoid sharing your email address, phone number, or other personal details on public platforms. If you must share these details, ensure the platform is secure and your information won't be visible to the public.

Regular software updates are also important. Companies like Microsoft frequently roll out updates to fix security vulnerabilities and enhance the overall security of their software. Keeping your programs updated can thus protect you from many cyber threats.

Lastly, financial information is a common target of phishing scams. Never provide your financial details through email or over an unsecured website. Use complex passwords for your banking and credit card accounts, and consider using two-factor authentication for an additional layer of security.

The Art of Protecting Yourself Online

Spam emails and phishing attempts pose a significant risk, but you can secure your online presence with awareness and the right protective measures. 

Remember, if you encounter a suspicious email or message, report it. Every report contributes to the broader fight against cybercrime, helping make the internet safer for everyone.

Another way to protect yourself from scams is by acquiring a second phone number. Burner can help you with that. Check us out today.


Report Fraud | FTC

Reporting Identity Theft |

What Are the Risks of Clicking on Malicious Links? | McAfee Blog

Cyber Threats and Advisories | Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency CISA

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