8 Email Scams worth knowing
Scamming can affect us all, but what are the scams that you particularly need to look out for? We explain the real danger scams and what you can do to avoid being caught out
Email Scams Some of the earliest forms of cybercrime were email scams, which continue to this day. Here are five of the most common types:
Lottery scams make up a huge amount of scams operating in this country. If you’re a victim of one of these, it’s likely you’ll receive a letter saying you have won a large amount of money on an online, or overseas, lottery.
This is one of the most innocent scams, you would come across. Fraudsters will send you an email expressing the interest in social issues, such as global warming or the war and you will be requested to fill in a survey with your input. But, when you click on the link to take the survey, malicious spyware or malware is installed on your computer. After this, they attackers can spy on your every move collecting passwords, bank account information, and more.
This is the scam that resembles legitimate organizations and draws you into entering your username and password so they can access your account.
Nigerian Check Scam
Another one of the more common email scams is the Nigerian check scam. If you are subject to this scam, you receive an email from an a royal-sounding person with the name of “Sir Arthur Von-Monsoon,” or “Barrister Frank N. Stein” with a request to help recover large sums of money from an overseas bank. As a reward, you’ll receive a handsome cut of the cash. Nice, huh?
Social Networking Scams
Thanks to social networking sites, you can connect with friends, relatives, and even celebrities all over the world. The problem? You can also connect with a wide variety of cybercriminals who specialize in online hoaxes.
It may be in your best interests to delete all app requests, and never take social networking quizzes. Turns out those “Which Twilight Character Are You?” quizzes could end up costing you a monthly charge.
Hidden URL Scam
As a regular Twitter user, I always use to shorten my links. Plenty of legitimate businesspeople do this to get around Twitter’s character limit. However, when clicking links, it’s best to err on the side of caution.
Hijacked Profile Scam
Recently, a girl I’d gone to high school with suddenly sent me a message on Facebook that said, “Hey girl, if you get some time, will you give me a call?”
How to Avoid Common Scams Online
Whether it’s an email scam or a social networking scam, there are some dead giveaways when it comes to recognizing them before they get you. Here are five ways to avoid common scams:
- Delete Unsolicited Emails. One of the best ways to avoid email scams is to delete unsolicited emails. Legitimate companies will never send you pertinent information by email.
- Don’t Believe Promises of Money or Prizes. Any email or social networking link that promises free money or prizes should be dismissed, as these are almost always scams.
- Question Requests for Donations. Whenever there’s a national disaster, con artists have a field day sending bogus requests for donations. Instead of donating through email to an unknown charity, give to legitimate charities, such as the Red Cross.
- Never Disclose Sensitive Personal Information. Any person who sends you an email asking for sensitive information, such as your bank account number or Social Security number, is up to no good. No matter what they promise you, mark the email as spam and move on.
- Hover Before You Click. Whenever you receive an unsolicited email asking you to “click here,” beware – even if it sounds like a legitimate company. The same goes for social networking links that take you to what appear to be login pages. These may be, in fact, sites designed to steal your information.