Don't be a Victim
Email scams, hacking, ransomware, and phishing are big business these days. Here are a few of the most common scams, how to spot them, and how to reduce your risk of becoming a victim.
The Nigerian Prince - A deposed foreign dignitary wants your help getting his fortune out of the country.
Lottery winner - You've won a lottery that you don't remember ever entering.
You've got mail! - You receive a notification that you have unread mail in an "inbox" that you have never used or even heard of.
Candid Camera - Someone claims to have secretly recorded video of you in a "compromising" situation.
Hacked account - You receive notification that one of your accounts has been hacked, and you need to change your log-in information immediately by following links in the email.
IRS - You owe unpaid taxes, and risk arrest if you don't pay up quickly.
Inheritance - An overseas relative has died and left you a small fortune.
Tech support - A well-known computer manufacturer or software company is notifying you that a virus has been detected on your computer, or that there is something wrong with your system that can only be remedied by clicking on an attached link.
Payment declined - An email comes from what looks like a service that you subscribe to saying that your recent payment was declined, and your service will be suspended unless you address the situation immediately.
Scam emails like these are designed to either extort money from the victim, or to enable the sender to exploit the user's computer, network, or contact lists. Signs of a possible scam are emails containing incorrect or improper spelling, punctuation, or grammar, get rich quick promises, threats, or urgent calls to action. You should also be suspicious if the actual email address appears to be from a sender other than the company the email claims to be from.
You can reduce your risk of becoming a victim by following these guidelines: Use a spam filter to reduce the number of spam and scam emails that get through to your inbox. Never respond to a suspected scam or spam email. Never click on ANY links or attached files in a suspicious email, an email from an unknown sender, or even an email from someone you know that you weren't expecting. If an email instructs you to access your account via an attached link, instead visit the site by using the link in your bookmarks, or from a search engine search for that company's website.