Types of Email Attacks & Scams To Be Aware Of

Barbara Swarthow - Thu 30 March 2017 -

Phishing Scams

Phishing scams basically try to get you to give up private information that the scammer can then use to his or her own advantage. Usually this includes passwords for various websites, credit card numbers, or (more rarely now) they will come out and solicit social security numbers, bank account information, and the like. Thieves then use this data to steal your money from you.

One kind of phishing email that you might not notice: An email that appears to be authentic from your bank, credit card or another type of financial business. You are asked to provide updated or new information using a link to their website. Since it appears very official, many people click on the link, travel to the website and log in with their password. Of course, it appears the same as your bank’s website, although it is actually a fraudulent one. This is the reason why it is very difficult to notice these scamming emails. Everything appears as it should. One warning sign you should take note of, is that legitimate financial companies will not request that you update your data like this.

Tax Refund Email Scam

The IRS has issued a warning about a tax refund email scam. You get an email allegedly from the IRS saying you are due a tax refund. You are told to click on a link to the “IRS” website. On this page, they request your social security number and other personal information, so you can gain access to your account. The email is a scam and it was created to steal your personal information. The IRS Does Not Use Email. As it says on the website, email is not sent to taxpayers by the IRS. It most certainly doesn’t utilize it to inform you about tax refunds. The IRS will communicate with taxpayers via the mail or by phone. Don’t be duped by this scam!  Read more about tax refund scams at StopIdentityFraud.org

Other Email Scams

The email from Nigeria scam — Obviously this is somewhat different, but the main point of the scam is an email is sent from a person who claims they are trying to transport money out of a certain country — commonly Nigeria — but there is trouble with taxes, crooked law officials, or other problems that require a big amount of money or stop this money from being taking out the country completely. At this point, you are asked to help. In exchange for your help, you will be offered a large portion of up to millions of dollars.

Other Bad Email

Another type of dangerous emails are email attachments embedded with viruses. Or emails that tempt you into clicking on a link where your computer is infected with a Trojan Horse or some other virus.

Avoiding Losses

Good sense is one of the best defenses to guard against Phishing, viruses and various email scams. What would help the most with email phishing is to make a report of any email which doesn’t look correct. If you get an email from someone requesting you to do anything questionable, tell the police.

Be cautious of clicking links from people or businesses that are unsolicited. Some ways to protect yourself include updating your anti-virus software regularly, enable automatic scanning of incoming emails, and use of “live protection” while connected to the Internet. Obtain a different kind of malware obstructing software if it is not included with your anti-virus software. Windows Defender is beneficial for avoiding adware or other kinds of secret malware from attaching itself to your computer when you are not aware of it.