Posted by: Aubrey Szmolke on June 7, 2023 at 9:56 am
What’s the danger?
Email scams are a major threat to online security. Scammers use a variety of techniques to trick people into revealing personal information or giving them money. In 2022, the average person lost $1,400 to phone scams alone. And that’s not even taking into account what individuals and businesses lost from email scams and Ransomware attacks. With all of these dangers to our personal information and bank accounts, what should you be on the lookout for? In this article, we will go over the most common email scams.
Here are the top 10 email scams:
Phishing emails are designed to trick you into revealing personal information, such as your passwords, credit card numbers, or Social Security number. These emails often appear to be from a legitimate source, such as a bank or government agency. The email will ask you to click on a link or open an attachment, which will take you to a fake website or download malware onto your computer. (see example below)
Malware emails work hand in hand with Phishing scams. They contain malicious software, which is where they get the name malware. When you open this kind of email, the malware can infect your computer and steal your personal information, such as your passwords, credit card numbers, or even your SSN. Malware can also damage your computer or take control of it.
These download a specific type of malware onto your computer. Which will encrypt all of your files, including personal documents, photos, and videos. Then, you are unable to access your files until you pay the ransom. And what’s worse is there is no guarantee that you will receive the decryption key even if you do pay the ransom.
Tech support scams
These are emails that claim that your computer has a virus or other problem. The email will ask you to call a phone number, and then the scammer will try to trick you into giving them remote access to your computer. Never let someone have remote access to your computer unless it’s a company you know and already work with.
Sweepstakes and lottery scams
These “win big” scams are emails that claim that you have won a prize or lottery. The email will ask you to pay a fee to claim your prize, but the prize is never awarded. These scams are often poorly written and contain grammatical errors. If you receive an email like this, it is best to ignore it.
These are people that claim to be interested in a romantic relationship with you. After some communication, the scammer will eventually ask for money, maybe claiming that they need it for an emergency. These scams are often very convincing, and it can be difficult to tell if you are talking to a real person or a scammer. If you are unsure if someone is who they say they are, it’s always best to err on the side of caution and not send them any money.
These are from people who claim to be your grandchild. The email will ask you to send money to help them with a problem. If you receive an email like this, don’t respond. First, verify the identity of the person before sending any money. It’s always best practice to call your grandchild directly or speak to their parents. If this doesn’t apply to you, it might be good to talk it over with your grandparents, so they know you will never email them asking for money.
This is when you receive emails claiming you ordered something from Amazon. It will ask you to click on a link to confirm your order, but the link will take you to a fake website where your credit card information will be stolen. It’s always best practice to go to Amazon’s website directly and check your order history. If the item they claim you bought isn’t there, it’s a scam.
These emails will claim that there’s a problem with your PayPal account. The email will ask you to click on a link to verify your account, but it will take you to a fake website where your login information will be stolen. Always go to PayPal’s website directly to check your account status or make a payment. And never give out your personal information, such as your PayPal password or credit card number, in an email. If you are unsure if an email is legitimate, you can contact PayPal customer service.
These are emails that offer you a job that sounds too good to be true. The email will ask you to send money to cover the cost of training or equipment, but the job does not exist and your money will be lost. Be careful not to trust emails from employment websites that you are unfamiliar with. Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Tips to help you avoid email scams:
- Be suspicious of any email that asks you to click on a link or open an attachment.
- Never give out your personal information, such as your Social Security number or bank account number, in an email.
- If you are unsure if an email is legitimate, you can contact the company or organization that the email claims to be from.
- Keep your software up to date.
- Use a firewall and antivirus software.
- Be careful what information you share on social media.
- Verify your account status via the companies website, not a link in an email.
By following these tips, you can help protect yourself from email scams.
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