Dear Elon Musk, Please Stop My Friends From Sending Me Spoofed Emails

5 Aug 2023

Dear Elon Musk,

I hope this email finds you well.

I’ve been following your career for as long as I can remember, and I can really use your help right now.

You see, my friends keep sending me spoofed emails. Or, I should say, scammers keep sending me spoofed emails pretending to be my friends. You know what I mean, right?

For example, my friend Billy emailed me about this awesome-sounding business opportunity just the other day. And, of course, I was interested. I mean, if Billy’s excited about it, I have to be too. I mean, he was my best man at my wedding, you know what I mean?

Well, guess what? That wasn’t Billy that emailed me. And now I’m locked out of my computer. I’m writing you this email from my phone, so please excuse any typos you fimd.

Please, Mr. Musk, you have to help me. I know that you’re a complete wizard when it comes to changing names. I mean, you managed to change the name of Twitter to X overnight. It’s almost like you spoofed an entire social media company, but, you know, in a good way.


Now, Mr. Musk, I understand how busy you are, so I’ve done my part by studying some of the fake emails I’ve gotten in the past few months. To get you started, here are some of my findings so far:

How to Spot a Spoofed Email

Now remember, I’m a simple person, and I don’t understand all this technical know-how. But here’s what I have so far:

Check The Email Address

This seems to be one of the easier ways to identify a fake email.

Instead of just checking the display name of the email, I find it’s best to check the actual email address as well.

There was this one time when it looked like my bank was emailing me. The display name said “Bank of America,” but the email address was “”


Always check for typos or email addresses that sound real but obviously aren’t with a closer look.

Check The Email Header

Another great way to spot a fake email is in the header. There are three areas to check here, depending on what kind of email service you have:

Make sure that the “From” email address is the same as the display name. At first, it may look like the “from” address is real, but take a second look at it. Does the display name match the “from” field? If not, it may be best to leave the email alone.

The “Reply-to” header needs to match the source.

With some email clients, the “Reply-to” field will be displayed. If this address doesn’t match the sender, then that could be a major red flag.

Check where the “Return-path” leads to. This path shows where the email originally came from. Make sure the email returns back to where it’s supposed to. It is possible to fake the Return-path, but it doesn’t happen very often.

Study The Content Of The Email

Ultimately the best way to spot fake emails, in my opinion, is to trust your instincts when it comes to your friends and the companies that you trust.

While reading the email:

  • Are there any unsolicited requests for sensitive information?

  • Were you expecting this email?

  • Is there a strange sense of urgency in the writing? Is it pushing you to act quickly?

  • Is there a generic greeting?

  • Is there a generic signature?

  • Are there any strange attachments or links?

Basically, if the email doesn’t feel like it came from your friend or company, it’s probably fake.

Here’s an example of another fake email I got from Billy:


I know that you don’t know Billy like I do, but trust me, that’s not Billy.

Common Business Emails That May Be Spoofed

It’s not just my friends that send me fake emails; businesses do it too. Not the actual businesses, of course. It’s more annoying scammers. Maybe even the same ones.

Spotting these emails is the same as any spoofed email. But to make your job easier, here’s a list of the most likely businesses that scammers will use to try and trick you:

  • Banks: This one seems to be one of the easiest ones to get tricked by. A spoofed email from a bank will ask for your account information, login details, and other personal information. Always check to see if the email is real.

  • Internet Service Providers (ISPs): Fake emails masquerading as ISPs will ask for your account information and threaten to shut off service if you don’t send it. It’s not them, don’t do it!

  • Credit Card Companies: Scammers will often pose as credit card companies, informing you of “false charges” or changes to your account. They just want your credit card information.

  • E-commerce Platforms: Cybercriminals know that you might be waiting for a package from Amazon. If you get an email claiming that there’s been an issue with your purchase, double-check who really sent that email.

  • Social Media Platforms: Emails appearing to come from Facebook, Instagram, or other social media platforms may contact you about account problems. Make sure it’s really them.

  • Payment Services: I’ve gotten fake emails from both Paypal and Venmo. If a payment service contacts you about login details, hit delete as quickly as you can.

  • Tax or Government Agencies: Emails from the government have to be real right? Actually, no. If you get an email demanding immediate payment, especially one threatening legal action, don’t believe the email right away. Just because they say they’re the IRS or the government doesn’t mean they are.

My Final Plea

Please do something about all these fake emails Mr. Musk.

I’m doing the best I can, but even I can’t not-click-on-them all.

Please, Mr. Musk, I’m desperate. I just want to open my emails without living in fear.

I can’t wait to hear back from you,


Your biggest fan

P.S. Oh yeah, please unlock my computer too. Thanks.