Scams - E-Mail Scams
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Proliferation of the Internet has lead to an exponential increase in the nature and variety of online frauds. E-mail scams are on the rise and many people have been taken for a ride by con artists claiming to provide wonderful income opportunities. The most common is bulk e-mail solicitations, which claim to sell lists of e-mail addresses, by the millions, to which one can send one’s bulk solicitations. Others provide software for automating sending of e-mail messages to thousands or millions of recipients. However sending bulk e-mails is illegal as per the terms of service of most Internet service providers. Most genuine businesses refrain from bulk e-mail marketing to avoid legal hassles.
E-mail Scams can be categorized into twelve main categories. Business opportunities with low investment and high returns, bulk e-mail for marketing, chain letters, which charge a small amount of money to be sent to others on a list, are some of the grander schemes. Other opportunities exist for work at home schemes, health and diet schemes and ways to earn effortless income. Some e-mails offer free goods, investment opportunities, cable descrambler kits, guaranteed loans or credit, on easy terms, credit repair and vacation prize promotions.
Another e-mail scam is that of a WANT AD where a person contacts one and is willing to pay much more than the asking price for the particular item. They pay by check or money order, which turns out to be counterfeit, and one ends up footing the bill to the bank. Phishing is online identity theft, which uses spoof emails, and fraudulent websites to fool Internet users into providing their financial data, credit card numbers, social security numbers, account logins and passwords. These emails try to convey a sense of urgency so that one is tricked into replying and supplying confidential data.
The basic structure of these e-mails is to tempt people into parting with their money and personal information like spending habits and credit card details social security, and bank account information. One must be wary of such scams to avoid being exploited by them. Most schemes are dependent on a pyramid system and one ends losing money and earning no income. In the worst case, one’s Internet account may be closed down.
One can take the following precautions against these e-mail scams. One must never supply personal information through e-mail nor click on any suspected links and attachments. It is advisable to log on to sensitive accounts by opening a new browser and typing the actual URL directly into the address bar. Sensitive data must be submitted using a secure website and the browser must be updated for all security features. One must install all the relevant and updated antivirus software, antispy ware software, and a firewall and an antiphishing toolbar, which is available free at earthlink.net/earthlinktoolbar. Thus, one must stay alert while online to avoid falling for the numerous e-mail scams.
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