A reader forwarded a phishing attempt but wanted to know what the best way is to determine if a message is legitimate.

“I have read that signing directly into your account is a good way to determine if it is a fraud. ┬áIf I sign in and there aren’t any messages within my account page after sign in, can I tell for sure?”

What's the best way to know if an email is real?

It’s a darn good way to check. If there’s an issue with your account, there will almost always be some sort of alert if you sign in. Most account dashboards have a place for messages and alerts. If you’re really concerned, you can always go to the account page and look for a link to contact customer service just to be sure.

Just make sure you don’t click on any link from the suspicious email.