How can I verify the authenticity of a forwarded email?

Aurora July 28, 2011

I asked someone to forward an email to me. I would like to know if they forwarded the original mail or just made it look like they did (perhaps after changing some of the text).
Thank you for your help.

  1. Tricky Cyclist
    August 12, 2011 at 2:20 pm

    Hey Aurora.. i did the same mistake and thought i'd get updates *sheepish grin*... sorry about the delay and here is the attachment once again (hope it shows up)

    • Aurora
      August 16, 2011 at 4:12 pm

      That's a big help...thanks again, Tricky Cyclist.

      • Parag
        June 13, 2012 at 2:44 pm

        Hi Aurora
        What is the final solution you got, I also need to determine if the forwarded message (as embadded) is edited or original


  2. Mike
    July 29, 2011 at 9:48 pm

    It depends whether the email is forwarded as an attachment or embedded (quoted).
    If the email was sent as an attachment it usually isn't altered (although it would still be possible). If the email was forwarded in an embedded/quoted format just as a text there is no way to tell if it was altered or not.

    • Aurora
      August 8, 2011 at 10:15 pm

      Thank you for your reply, Mike.

  3. Tricky Cyclist
    July 29, 2011 at 6:46 pm

    Aurora, do you use an email client (e.g., Outlook Express, Microsoft Outlook, Eudora, etc.) to download your email or do you check webmail (i.e., on a website)? If you use an email client it becomes easier to download and check for the headers and the path that it followed to get to your computer... whereas on a website you're kind of at the mercy of that website and what kind of info they choose to display on the website.

    Don't get me wrong, it's not the company itself... what i mean is, if you have a GMail account and download it into Outlook Express (like I do) then you can check its properties and see lotsa stuff (check attached screenshot). IF however, you check your email on the GMail website... you won't.

    In the attached screenshot I've highlighted certain pertinent things to check (note tht this is only Outlook Express, other email clients work in pretty much the same way, it just might have a different navigational path to get to it that's all).. like return path and other things.. i'm by no means saying this is the comprehensive check (i'm not an expert) but it is definitely a lot of information that you can look through (and google if you're not sure) before deciding if a certain IP address can be trusted, a certain email address can be trusted.. etc. etc. Hope it helps :)

    • Aurora
      August 8, 2011 at 10:14 pm

      Hi, Tricky Cyclist.  The screenshot you attached is not viewable; I get a 404 message...but thanks, anyway, for your reply.
      (By the way, sorry it took a while for me to respond.  I thought I would get an email alert when there's a reply to my question, so I was just waiting instead of coming back to this page.)

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