A phishing email is a fraudulent email message sent with the purpose of illegally obtaining login credentials, credit card information or sensitive information that can be monetized. The email appears to be sent by a genuine source like a known contact, a company you're working with or a service that you're using. The email will either instruct you to open a malware-infested attachment or to click on a link that takes you to a fake website, designed to mimic the site of a legitimate business. The fake website will try to get any personal information that could be used for identity theft or online financial theft like login credentials or payment information.

Phishing emails are designed to mimic a legit email. They will have the copy, design, and logo of the legitimate email and use an almost identical email address. If an email seems suspicious the first thing you should do is check the "from" email address. Unlike the name, attackers cannot use the same email address as the service or person they are pretending to be. They will use slight variations for example "paypal@paypal.org" or "paypal@paypal.mail-service@com" instead of paypal@paypal.com.

When you receive a phishing email you are not necessarily targeted. Usually, phishing emails are sent in bulk to a large email list that was either bought or obtained from a data breach. Apart from being vigilant with your email and using anti-phishing software, another layer of protection can be using burner email addresses.

Using a unique burner email address for every service you sing up to and associating that email with the service adds an extra layer of protection to your inbox. Knowing that a service can only use one email address and knowing exactly which one, gives you the ability to spot a scam email or a phishing attack much easier. You can notice at a first glance that an email is fake if you receive an email pretending to be from Paypal on an email address associated with a newsletter.

When generating a burner email address, Burner Mail injects the name of the service you are signing up to into the address of the burners and attaches the domain name to the burner email address.

Burner Emails extension

This allows our users to check the sender's email address and invalidate any other variation of the actual domain.

Burner Mail also makes sure to show the sender's email address in your forwarded email preview.

Forwarded email preview

Seeing the sender's email address in the email preview allows users to spot a fake email more easily and quickly. Additionally, spotting a fake email before even opening it is crucial since many email providers have tracking software that notifies the sender when an email was opened and/or clicked. When that happens you validate your email address to the attacker and show that you are a possible target for future scams.