We've all been "that person," the one who fills instantly with regret the moment you click on an email and realize you've done something incredibly wrong.
Scam emails happen all day, every day no matter if you're just using your personal computer or at work and minding your own business when you open one and realize it isn't from your boss.
The real trick to taming these schemes is knowing what to look for when those would be emails hit your inbox and are ready to wreak havoc when you actually open them.
So how do you spot a scam email?
There are plenty of red flags that should be a clear cut indicator that the message you're about to read is one that is going to do harm to your computer and perhaps get you in some serious hot water at work. One that is easy to spot is when you receive an email from a company that knows who you are and has already set a precedent by shipping out emails that call you by your first name.
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Anything you see that says "Dear friend, Dear sir or Dear valued customer" was most likely created by an internet scam artist or hacker who wants to cause you some considerable heartache when it comes to your computer.
Then, of course, there's the "too good to be true" emails that we can't help but open.
Maybe someone is promising you a chance to win a free vacation or thousands of dollars a week for the rest of your life. Internet scam artists are beginning to understand that the aforementioned email types and subject matter are, in fact, too lucrative to be real. So, they've started to make their emails a little more subdued and realistic, like recipes or articles written about tips and tricks for a variety of subjects.
Basically, if you didn't sign up to receive any sort of email alert or recipe of the week, then you shouldn't be opening them when they arrive.
And please, if the email is filled with spelling mistakes, chances are it was created in someone's basement whose only goal is to find out your bank account information or social security number.
The ultimate goal is to find out who exactly sent the email to you, whether that is a legitimate merchant or a buddy or co worker trying to tell you something. Would it really be a bad idea to just text the friend or colleague and ask them if they sent you an email even if you're the least bit suspicious?
That action could be the difference between you losing your identity to an online thief or bypassing the ordeal altogether and continuing to enjoy emails actually intended for you.
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