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Spam Mail – Don’t fall for it!

Spam Mail – Don’t fall for it!

- by Sarah Connelly
Protecting Your Property And Savings From Thieves – Chapter 20

You have probably heard of the dangers of scam emails and feel that you are too technologically aware to fall victim to a scam. Did you know: Spam mail is estimated to cost consumers in the UK over £3 billion a year? In fact, the Citizens Advice Bureau believes that the actual figure could be much higher. Naturally, this is because victims of such scams are often embarrassed about being so gullible and so do not even tell relatives and friends, let alone report it to the police.

The problem is that the creators of such scams are becoming increasingly sophisticated in their methods and also extremely cunning in the way they play on basic human emotions.

Avoid spam mail with Cashfloat
This article aims to help you:
  • Spot the characteristics of a typical scam email
  • Identify the ruses used to separate you from your money
  • Recognise virus emails
  • Know what to do or not do if you receive a scam email
  • Learn what to do if you are taken in by a scam email

Characteristics Of A Scam Email

There are specific characteristics of a scam email. Spam mail might not contain all these features, but these are warning signs which should put you on your guard.

The most basic is if you are expecting an email from this person or organisation. Firstly, are they known to you? Next, how are you addressed in the email? If it begins with a generic ‘Dear Customer’ or ‘Dear Friend’, then it is more likely to be a sign that it has been sent on mass to find victims.

Moreover, if the content of the email has only a disembodied link or the text is contained in an image with a hyperlink, you are more likely to be sent to a bogus website. Often this site looks remarkably like the one you think you normally connect to with all the logos and so on. To avoid clicking on the link at all, roll the mouse pointer over the link, and the real destination will appear in the bottom left corner of your screen. If it is different from the supposed link given in the email, be wary.

Scam Ruses To Play On Our Emotions

Conmen will come up with all kinds of ruses to try and trigger your emotions. This leaves you more vulnerable to giving them money! The most important thing to do when opening an email from an unrecognised sender is to remember: If something is too good to be true, it most probably is!

Send money to Nigeria!

One of the most famous scams is the so-called 419 or Nigerian scam. Here, the scammer requests help in releasing money trapped in a bank or an inheritance which is difficult to access. They will ask for your banking details so they can transfer it into your account (thereby giving them the means to rob you) or they will ask for you to pay some administrative costs. Of course, they never release the money and continue to ask for more to cover unexpected ‘expenses’. Here are some more scams that prey on your emotions:

Computer Virus in an email

Virus emails often come in the form of funny pictures or videos, which you are encouraged to send on to friends. These emails contain spyware which forwards your bank details to the sender as soon as you make online monetary transactions. The best protection is to make sure you always have protection from viruses on your electronic devices and they are regularly updated.

Fake Email – What to do

The best piece of advice is to delete all unsolicited emails unread. Of course, for some people this is impossible to do since they have a natural curiosity to find out who the email is from. After all, it might just be genuine!

If you open the email, do not believe any promises of easy money and treat requests for donations with skepticism. Think very carefully before you click on a link. If you do, never ever supply any personal information especially anything referring to your finances such as bank details or security codes. Remember! The bank do not need to verify anything as they already possess all of your personal information. If you still feel worried, contact the local branch of your bank by phone. If you have any doubts, do not open attachments to the email and do not contact or reply to the senders.

Have you Been The Victim Of An Email Scam?

If you suspect that someone has conned you by spam mail, do not be too ashamed to report it. You are not alone! As a matter of fact, Action Fraud receive on average 8,000 reports per month. Any incidents of email scams can be reported to them online.
Report email scams - cashfloat
All crimes of fraud are forwarded onto the NFIB (National Fraud Intelligence Bureau) for collation and analysis. This organisation gathers intelligence about the latest scams in order to take preventative action. You can also report the scam email to your ISP (Internet Service Provider) as they all have a reporting service for abuse and can close down the email account.

Conclusion

At Cashfloat, we want to help you keep your money safe online! When it comes to spam mail, the two fundamental pieces of advice to bear in mind are firstly, never reveal confidential information in an email. The second is to be wary of any email that arouses extreme ‘gut’ emotions such as fear, excitement or sympathy. The anonymity of the Internet and emails means you have no way of knowing who is at the other end of the communication and certainly have even less reason to trust them.

avoid spam mail with cashfloat
Sarah is an enthusiastic writer, blogger and an eager agent of change. Although she has never been one to voice her opinion publicly, Sarah has dedicated herself to helping Cashfloat spread awareness about common financial issues and the importance of money management. Through her writing, Sarah hopes to empower a positive and lasting change in people. Sarah believes strongly in ethical business management and consumer protection. After completing her degree in Computer Science in one of London’s esteemed universities, Sarah has come to adore the buzzing hub of London city. Still, in her free time, Sarah enjoys reading, researching, watching movies and eating out. After all, #YOLO!
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