Email Scams Explained

What are Email Scams?

Email scams are one way that identity theft criminals get the information they need to commit identity theft. Not falling victim to email scams requires some planning, organization, and caution. Below you’ll find some helpful information about how to avoid email scams.

Use a Spam Filter

If you have a spam filter on your email program, you definitely need to use it. It can also help to check your email regularly so you can delete spam and not log in one day to an overwhelming 500 messages. Email scams are more likely to slip under your radar if you are overwhelmed with an abundance of email messages.

Organize Your Email

Having specific folders designated for important purposes can keep all of your email contained. Email scams will end up being filtered to your spam folder, but having folders for email that comes from email addresses that are likely to be important to you will keep the important email separate from the spam.

Use a Decoy

It can help to have one email account (usually a free email account) that you use when you sign up on websites for newsletters, contests, or other offers. That way you can limit the amount of spam or junk email you get to your primary and most important email account.

Know the Trends

Most email scams are simply a variation of scams that are actually decades old. If you familiarize yourself with some of the typical scams that involve criminals who are trying to gather information, then you can reduce your chances of falling for email scams.

One common scam involves claiming that you have a long lost relative who has died and left you money. Many email scams are successful for the same reason that phone scams are successful; they generally sound urgent so recipients end up responding to that urgency.

The above tips can contribute to a reduced likelihood that you will fall victim to email scams.

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