What is Email Display Name Spoofing & How to Prevent It?

what is email display name spoofing

Since 2020, brand impersonation has increased by over 30%. What’s even alarming is that 98% of hacks include social engineering techniques like display name spoofing.

The display name of an email is modified and changed in a targeted phishing attempt, according to the definition of display name spoofing. This gives it the appearance of coming from a reliable source, typically a reputable business or a friend.

This blog covers a variety of topics, including what is email display name spoofing and email phishing protection.

How Does Display Name Spoofing Work?

Cybercriminals employ the display name spoofing technique to make a fake email appear to be from a legitimate source. A frequent ruse is to pretend to be someone you personally know and regularly correspond with over email. This may apply to your manager, coworkers, business partners, customer service agents, etc. Establishing trust is necessary in order to get sensitive data, like banking information, social security numbers, OTPs, login passwords, vital documents, medical records, passport information, etc. You can even fall for their tricks when transacting online.

One of the most well-known instances of email display name spoofing in real life is the $100 million scam that both Google and Facebook fell for between 2013 and 2015. The attacker took advantage of the fact that both businesses utilised Taiwan-based Quanta as a vendor. They sent a number of fictitious invoices via email to the business that pretended to be Quanta, and Facebook and Google both paid them.

What’s Process Behind Display Name Spoofing?

Check out the display name spoofing method. Phishers use free services of email spoofing in cyber security like Gmail, Yahoo, Outlook, etc. to generate new email addresses. The new email address has the same display name as the target email address and is similar to it. Since the email address is technically legitimate and unforged, anti-spam filters are bypassed.

It simply takes advantage of the fact that recipients frequently only see the display name and skip over the email address. Additionally, they interpret it as the sender’s personal email address despite the fact that the domain name is omitted and the ESP’s name is provided.

The email signatures of phishing emails are also the same as those used by authentic senders to make it appear as if the email is coming from the genuine sender. This is why email display name spoof detection is vital. 

Why Does Display Name Spoofing Perform Better On Mobile Devices?

Do you aware that faking email display names or cyber attacks work better on mobile devices? Due to the lack of information on mobile devices, recipients only see the display name and not the From: address. This facilitates such deceptions by leading victims to divulge sensitive information, click on harmful links, complete online transactions, etc.

How Do Emails With Display Name Spoofing Get Past Anti-Spam Filters?

Due to the fact that these emails appear real following a superficial review by anti-spam mail filters, understanding how to stop display name spoofing is essential. Because email service providers only display the display name over the email address, this occurs.

The emails exclude dubious information like links that are undesired, uninvited, or loaded with viruses, so they go through the censors. Therefore, outbound phishing assaults, spoofing attacks, domain impersonation, malware, and ransomware are all unaffected by anti-spam filters. To defend your domain from these cybersecurity attacks, and online crimes, utilize DMARC

How To Prevent Email Display Name Spoofing?

To prevent display name spoofing, you must train yourself and your staff to recognize the warning signs of fraudulent emails. Here are some things to avoid.

Untrustworthy Sender Address

Pay attention to the email address, especially the domain name, to deter hackers from trying email spoofing attacks in your company’s name. Cross-check email addresses from past correspondence as well.

SSL Certificate Missing

Secure Sockets Layer, or SSL, is a code that protects online communications. It contains details on the domain name, the owner, connected sub-domains, etc. Therefore, avoid clicking on links that begin with “http” rather than “https.” The “s” stands for SSL encryption. Websites lacking an SSL certificate might be involved in scams. You may use it to read information simply; nevertheless, entering specifics on them is strictly forbidden!

Inappropriate Content

Because hackers don’t engage specialists to perform such jobs, be on the lookout for grammatical and spelling errors, amateur graphics, and improperly designed emails. They also use words like “within an hour,” “without any delay,” and other expressions that convey a sense of urgency in order to hasten you through the information and prevent you from catching errors.

Before clicking, look at the links

Look at the bottom left corner of your screen while moving the cursor over any hyperlinked text or links without actually clicking on them. The complete connection will be visible. Please only click to open the webpage if you are certain. If you unintentionally clicked a phishing link, turn off your internet connection and run an antivirus scan.

Strange Requests

It may be a phishing link if you’ve been asked to submit sensitive data like OTPs, passwords, social security numbers, bank information, etc. Watch out for links that take you to login pages.

Educate the People in Your Team

Teach your team members how to prevent cyberattacks or phishing attacks like display name spoofing. Inform them of warning signs such as an unknown sender, unusual requests, an urgent tone, unrequested attachments, and links, etc.


Display name spoofing-related online crimes are frequent and frequently target IT-driven organisations. Hackers send emails requesting private information or money transfers under the names of reputable businesses, colleagues, friends, bosses, etc.

Even anti-spam filters are powerless to stop phishing and spoofing attempts on your domain. To prevent them, employ email authentication standards like SPF and DMARC. While DMARC record informs receivers’ mailboxes on how to manage unlawful emails arriving from your domain, SPF, or Sender Policy Framework, employs a list of IP addresses permitted to send emails using your domain. One of the DMARC policies—none, reject, or quarantine—can be used.

GoDMARC offers you quick and efficient DMARC services that are specifically designed to match your requirements and prevent you from future phishing and cyber-attacks.


Q1. In what ways might email spoofing be avoided?

Gmail administrators should put up email authentication to safeguard corporate email. Authentication aids in avoiding spam labels being applied to communications from your company. Additionally, it stops spammers from using your organization’s name or URL in phishing and spoofing emails and you can prevent email display name spoofing

Q2. What distinguishes a hacked account from a faked account?

To spoof your email, the hacker doesn’t need to take control of your account. The attacker had complete access to your email account if your account was compromised, though. The hacker will send emails that actually originate from your mailbox. Spoofing, however, doesn’t affect your account in any way. The email merely looks to come from you, but it actually came from a different account entirely.

Q3. What should you do if someone spoofs your email?

If someone has spoofed your email to transmit spam, there isn’t much you can do about it. Fortunately, your real account is secure; just remember to regularly change your password to thwart actual hacking.

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