A client just forwarded us an email they had received asking if it was spam – they were right to be wary, as it is indeed a bogus message.

We often receive emails from Cpanel – the software that often sits on hosting to help you manage your website hosting account – with alerts about disk quota and similar topics. So at first glance, this email does look legitimate. However there are a few things which show it’s not real – the big 3 being detailed below. I’ve blurred out our client’s name from the screenshot, hence the big blue splodges.

1) A typo – they say ‘bellow’ instead of ‘below’ (I’ve put a yellow box around it below).

2) They suggest you click the link so as to upgrade your quota for free (I’ve underlined this in red below). Anyone who uses CPanel knows that these guys are constantly putting their prices up over the last few years, they’re certainly not giving anything away for free. And why would they in this instance anyway?

3) The links don’t go where they say they do – this is the big one. When you mouse over the link on you computer (rather than a phone) you’ll see in the bottom left of your browser window where the link is going to take you. In this instance, it’s going to take you to a compeltely different domain than the link says it’s going to. If you were viewing the email on a mobile, you could press on the link and click “copy” and then paste it somewhere to see where it’s going, but that’s risky incase you might click on it.

Photo courtesy of Unsplash.

So overall the moral of this story, is to be wary of everything that comes your way that’s not from someone you know, or doesn’t seem right in some way. Whilst we get CPanel emails a lot, our clients don’t – we receive them on their behalf. And always check links (ideally, to be safe, on a laptop or desktop) to see if they’re going where they claim to.