Phishing versus Spam Emails

How to know the difference and take the appropriate action.

<pclass=”lead”>If you suspect that your device or systems have been compromised, please contact our support team immediately at [email protected] or 325-627-0018

The Difference Between SPAM and Phishing Emails


Spam emails exist as a means of selling products or services to a larger market of buyers that have ever expressed interest in those products or services. After obtaining the email addresses of a large number of individuals, spammers bulk send their offers thousands at a time. Common types of spam include prayer chain forwards, coupons, adult content, donation solicitations, and unwanted newsletters. They are usually commercial in nature and not expressly malicious.


Phishing emails are expressly designed by a malignant actor to harm a company or individual by obtaining sensitive information. It often takes the form of a seemingly legitimate-looking message from a trusted sender. Phishing emails target banking credentials, passwords, cash advances, or other information of value. Identity theft often results.

Signs of phishing email include:

  • Misspelled words
  • Discrepancies between the language of links and the URLs they direct to
  • Requests for personal information
  • Forms within emails
  • Highly emotional or charged language

Protect yourself against phishing attempts by:

  • Knowing common signs of phishing scams
  • Not providing personal information via email. If you’re unsure if an email is legitimate, always refer to the sender’s website.
  • Not opening messages from unknown senders
  • Verifying passwords

Emails identified as Spam

Mailing Lists

It is common that your email address has been placed on a mailing list. This can happen when you purchase merchandise or signup for on-line services. These types of email usually have an unsubscribe option at the bottom of the email. We recommend that you walk through the unsubscribe process or update your notification settings for this vendor.

Unsolicited Emails

To limit these types of spam and junk emails in your inbox please follow the instructions below.

  1. Right click on the email withing your Inbox
  2. You will see a “Junk” option towards the bottom of the list
  3. A popout menu will appear with an option for “Block Sender”
  4. Selecting this will block the sender from being able to send to you again and will move those emails to your Junk Email.

Emails identified as Phishing

If your company participates in Tolar’s Complete Security please use the Phishing Alert button within Outlook. If you do not participate in Complete Security and would like to Tolar to review an email, please attach the original email to a new message and send it to [email protected].

If you suspect that your device or systems have been compromised, please contact our support team immediately at [email protected] or 325-627-0018.

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