Email scams are certainly nothing new and plenty has been written about how to avoid them. Still, reminding people that the supposed security email in their inbox is really only a more sophisticated scam, bears repeating. There are of course, security scam emails like the one copied at the bottom as well as a more sophisticated “Nigerian” type scam that not only hijacks your address book but also signs your name to the email.
First, if you receive anything in your email asking for money, it is probably a scam. You can check the following websites to be sure: On Guard Online, Scam Busters, and Hoax Slayer. They have scams listed by category so that it is easy to search for the probably scam that landed in your inbox.
By now everyone has gotten an email that purports to be from someone usually in Nigeria or from another nation claiming that they need your help getting money to a relative in the United States or needing your help to obtain funds that require a U.S. citizen’s aid. In every case, you have to give them your bank account number. Not good. For the most part you can tell these are scams from the impersonal salutation and horrible grammar.
There are also the scams that hijack your address book so that not only do you get this bogus email but everyone you have ever gotten an email from or sent an email to gets the scam as well. Now such emails are adding a twist. These insidious emails are not just addressing you as “Dear One” but by your first name. They also have a friends name in the signature line. If you didn’t read the email too closely, you might actually mistake it as a legitimate request for money from a relative of a friend. The grammar is still atrocious but the personalization almost gives it legitimacy.
Of course some of the worst scams are the security scams like the one below, that are purportedly from a legitimate source telling you of a security breach and stating that unless you reply with your user name and password, you will be locked out of your email account. Of course, the sender is phishing for your information. One dead giveaway that the request is a fake is the address of the sender. For instance, in the example below, the sender is supposedly from Yahoo but their email address is from live.com. Sometimes though, the sender will spoof what appears to be a legitimate address from Yahoo or Google security.
If an email offers you a deal that is too good to be true, it is. If an email asks for your information or you will be locked out, it is probably a phishing scam. If you get an email from a friend on behalf of a relative in another country, it is probably a scam, especially if they can’t spell and they don’t know the rules of grammar.
The Yahoo! Mail Team firstname.lastname@example.org
2:51 PM (5 hours ago)
to undisclosed recipients
A DGTFX Virus has been detected in your Yahoo. folders. Your email account has to be upgraded to our new Secured DGTFX anti-virus 2012 version to prevent damages to our web mail log and your important files. Click your reply tab, Fill the columns below and send back to us or your email account will be terminated to avoid spread of the virus.
Director of Yahoo.Inc Technical Team. Note that your password will be encrypted with 1024-bit RSA keys for your password safety.
All Yahoo.Inc User Should Reply Now !!
Thank you for your co-operation.
Yahoo Account Support
Warning Code :ID67565434