Email scams are a type of fraud that occurs when someone uses email to try to trick you into giving them money or personal information. They might claim to be from a company you know or trust, or they might create a fake website that looks similar to a legitimate site. Some email scams also try to infect your computer with malware.
Email scams are very common, and they can be very convincing. It’s important to remember that no one is immune to these scams – even people who are very computer-savvy can be fooled.
If you get an email that looks like it might be a scam, don’t reply to it, click on any links, or open any attachments. If you’re not sure whether an email is a scam, you can forward it to the company or website it claims to be from. You can also report the email to the Federal Trade Commission.
Here are some common types of email scams:
Phishing is a type of email scam that tries to trick you into giving out personal information, such as your Social Security number, bank account number, or credit card number. The email might look like it’s from a company you know or trust, like your bank or credit card company. It might even have the company’s logo.
The email might say there’s a problem with your account and you need to update your information. Or it might say you’ve won a contest and you need to click on a link to claim your prize.
If you click on the link, you’ll be taken to a fake website that looks real. The website might even have a fake address bar that makes it look like it’s the real website. The fake website will ask you to enter your personal information.
If you enter your information, the scammers will now have it. They can use it to commit fraud or sell it to other criminals.
Some email scams try to install malware, which is a type of software that can damage your computer or steal your personal information. The email might say you need to install an update to a program or click on a link to redeem a coupon.
If you click on the link or download the software, you’ll be installing the malware on your computer. The malware might track everything you do online, steal your passwords, or even delete files from your computer.
3. Nigerian Prince Scam
In this scam, you’ll get an email from someone who claims to be a Nigerian prince. The prince says he needs help moving money out of the country. He offers to give you a percentage of the money if you help him.
To help the prince, you might be asked to provide your bank account number or to send money to cover the costs of moving the money. Of course, there is no Nigerian prince and you’ll never see the money again.
4. Fake Job Offer
In this scam, you’ll get an email from someone offering you a job. The job might be for an online business or something that requires you to work from home.
To get the job, you might be asked to provide personal information, like your Social Security number or bank account number. Or you might be asked to pay a fee to cover the cost of training or supplies.
Of course, the job doesn’t exist and you won’t get the money back that you paid.
5. Fake Charity Scam
In this scam, you’ll get an email from someone asking for donations to a charity. The email might say that the charity is for victims of a natural disaster or for a good cause.
To donate, you might be asked to click on a link or to send money to an account. The link might take you to a fake website that looks real. Or you might be asked to send money to an account that’s actually controlled by the scammers.
Either way, your money will go to the scammers and not to the charity.
These are just a few of the most common email scams. There are many others, and new ones are created all the time. So, it’s important to be cautious when you get emails from people you don’t know. Don’t reply to the email or click on any links. And, don’t give out personal information unless you’re sure the website is legitimate.