Email is both an excellent communication tool and also a way that companies can inform you about their latest products and services.
However, email is frequently used to deliver unwanted material which is at best, annoying and at worst, malicious – causing considerable harm to your computer and yourself.
The vast majority of email sent every day is unsolicited junk mail. Examples include:
- Advertising, for example online pharmacies, pornography, dating, gambling.
- Get rich quick and work from home schemes.
- Hoax virus warnings.
- Hoax charity appeals.
- Chain emails which encourage you to forward them to multiple contacts (often to bring ‘good luck’).
Email Scams are generally delivered in the form of a spam email (but remember, not all spam emails contain scams). Scams are designed to trick you into disclosing information that will lead to defrauding you or stealing your identity.
Examples of email scams include:
Emails offering financial, physical or emotional benefits, which are in reality linked to a wide variety of frauds.
These include emails posing as being from ‘trusted’ sources such as your bank, HMRC or anywhere else that you have an online account. They ask you to click on a link and then disclose personal information.
Get Safe Online has put together and excellent report on the difference between scams, spams and phishing attacks through emails; how spammers get your email address; how to recognize these and importantly how to prevent this. The article can be downloaded here