Beware of email scams- How to protect yourself!

Author : teriann

At the risk of revealing my age, I remember when letters were the main source of communication and often it took weeks for them to arrive to their destination. Fast forward to our current reality and emails are among the easiest and quickest ways to send lengthy texts and documents around the world.

Now with just a few strokes of the keyboard, a message can be sent to several recipients at once. We all use emails now with little thought of any danger that they might pose. What danger am I referring to? The danger is of the use of email scams!

Call for assistance

I have been the recipient of  this type of scam and it basically is an email asking for you to send money. The sender usually adds details such as they are out of the country and lost their passport or/and money and need your help. They will insist that they will pay you back as soon as possible but they need your help desperately.

In some cases they will ask for a favour without mentioning money in an effort to prompt a response. The reason that the plea for assistance seems so believable is that they often use someone’s email account who you know quite well. In some cases they might even  use words or greetings commonly used by the person when they write other emails.  These scams require you to respond so that they can give further details about how and where to send the requested funds.

There are other email scams in which the persons asking for help do not claim to be anyone that yo know.  They simply outline their needs and after a lengthy description they ask for monetary assistance.

Surprise – You are a Winner!

Other email scams start off with the premise that you have won a prize. The fact that you did not enter a competition is of course a red flag, but these emails are crafty. They often contain vague details of the actual competition and ask you for further details so they can send you your ‘prize’.  Other emails may offer ‘get rich quick’ and ‘work from home schemes’ which are not legitimate offers.

Be alert!

Knowledge is important so knowing the types of scams is vital to avoid falling in their trap. Do not open emails which you suspect as being scams. How can you know which emails are suspicious?

Here are some warning signs of an email scam: you don’t know the sender, it contains misspellings designed to fool spam filters, makes an offer that seems too good to be true, the subject line and contents do not match, it contains a request to forward an email to multiple people, and may offer money for doing so, contains a virus warning or contains attachments, which could include .exe files.

In order to be safe, do not open attachments from unknown sources. Despite your desire to do so do not respond to the email or forward it to anyone else as the very act of replying to a spam email confirms to spammers that your email address exists.

If in doubt, contact the person or organisation the email claims to have been sent by.  It’s better to be safe than sorry. So what’s your take? Let me hear from you!

Teri Ann Renee Paisley
Gleaner online writer


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One Response to “Beware of email scams- How to protect yourself!”

  1. Proearn says:

    I agree with you there about not responding. If you receive an email to reset a password or login again, check the timestamp and verify the email address it is sent from but do not click the link. Sometimes you need to change your browser and log into the website by typing the full url into a new address bar. So if you received an email from Paypal, log into Paypal directly yourself, etc. If it’s “supposedly” from your bank, disregard and contact your bank immediately. You are welcome to check my website info where I have listed various trending scams. Have a great day.

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