Email Scams Used by Thieves to Steal from You and How You Can Avoid Them
Spam and other unsolicited emails have become a huge problem for every email user. But, these unwanted emails are more than just a nuisance. They can be used by thieves and hackers to trick you into giving them your account numbers for your credit cards and bank accounts. They then use this information to steal from you with many people losing their entire life savings to these types of scams.
What Are Email Scams
Email scams are a type of email fraud that often come to your inbox unsolicited. These emails often try to convince you they are something they are not or ask you to download attachments or visit websites that contain viruses. They then use these viruses to access your personal data and steal your hard earned money from you.
Types of Email Scams
Email scams can take many forms. However, most email scams fall into the following basic types:
• Phishing Scams – These types of scams pretend to be something they are not and try to convince you to send money or worse, your credit or bank account numbers. These emails usually mask themselves as charities, banks or credit card companies.
• Virus Attachments – Some email scams include attachments on the messages. These attachments are often viruses and the email tries to convince you to open the attachment.
• Malicious Links – Some emails contain links to websites that contain malware and viruses designed to hijack your computer and steal your data.
How Not to Be a Victim
You might think that it can be hard to sort through all the fake email from the good ones. However, by simply using a little common sense and following a few guidelines, you can quickly sort through your email and reduce your risk of becoming a victim of an email scam.
• Do Not Open Attachments From People You Don’t Know – If you receive a message with attachments from someone you don’t know, do NOT open it. Simply delete the message.
• Never Email Your Account Information – Never respond to emails looking for money and never send your credit card information or bank account information through email.
• Use Junk Email Folders – All email systems today come with a junk email folder and attempt to identify spam. When you go through your junk email, take extra care and delete any messages from people you don’t know.
• Use Antivirus Software – You should always run good antivirus software such as STOPzilla when using your computer. This software can identify threats in your email and stop them before they can infect your computer.
Email scams, while not as popular as they used to be, are still very much alive and well and more and more people become victims of email fraud every year. However, running antivirus software and following a few basic practices can help prevent you from becoming the next victim of the scammers.