How to Stop Spoofing

By Jordan Meyers

Spoofing occurs when someone uses another person's email address to send emails, hiding his real email address and identity. You may become a victim of spoofing if someone uses your email address to send email, which often contains inflammatory statements, pornography, viruses or requests for sensitive information. You may also receive emails from a spoofed email address in which an individual tries to obtain your private information, including usernames and passwords. Being aware of spoofing is the first step in preventing it.

Step 1

Create a separate email address for use on forums and message boards or avoid exposing your email address altogether. Hackers may search forums and message boards for email addresses to use.

Step 2

Use a completely different username for message boards and forums than you use for your primary email accounts and important logins.

Step 3

Create different usernames and passwords for each account you hold with a company that requires you to login. If a hacker manages to get the information for one account, he won't be able to get into multiple accounts since the usernames and passwords won't be the same.

Step 4

Examine emails carefully if they contain links for you to click. Do not click on a link if you are unsure that it comes from a company you trust. Even if it does seem to come from a company you trust, visit the website and search for the page on which you would have landed via the link. This may foil hackers who send you misleading links.

Step 5

Refuse to give your username or password to any person who contacts you and requests it over the Internet, through email or by phone. A reputable company will not contact you to request this information.

Step 6

Use a separate email address for sending and receiving payments online. If you receive payments from more than one online payment processor, use a separate email for each company.

Step 7

Report the receipt of spoofed emails to the company the criminal is impersonating. For example, if you receive an email from someone pretending to be a representative of your bank, forward the email to your bank.

Step 8

Inform your Internet service provider (ISP) immediately if you think your email address has been spoofed. Your quick action my prevent your ISP from canceling your account because it appears you are spamming or committing other email offenses.

Step 9

Email the Federal Trade Commission to report spoofing. Use the following email address:

Tips & Warnings

  • Always delete suspicious emails from your hard drive after you forward them. This way, no one in your home will accidentally respond to the email or click the enclosed link later.