Common Email Scams to Watch Out For…

Email Scams in 2013

Below is a list of email scams to watch out for. This list was compiled in September 2013. Since this time, email scams have not evolved very much with very similar scams still being run in September 2019.

Travel Deals Too Good to Be True

This popular scam advertises amazing travel deals – even free tickets (but then in the fine print the accommodation is exorbitant) – they usually state that the offer is for a short period only – encouraging you to quickly part with your money.

The Stranded Traveler Scam

These emails are from “friends” claiming they were robbed while travelling in Europe or Asia, and need money sent immediately in order to get home safely.

Pre-Approved Loan Scam

These scams offer pre-approved loans as long as you pay an up-front fee. Obviously you don’t get a loan but do lose whatever money it is that you pay up-front.

Urgent Messages From a Bank or Government Agency

This recent phishing attack involved scammers pretending to be a bank or government agency and asks recipients to report scam emails to the bank/agency’s website – however the link itself contained dangerous malware. Other scams impersonate top FBI officials or bring unwelcome greetings from the IRS announcing that you owe them money and need to pay up as soon as possible or be fined or incarcerated.

The Bank Employee Scam

You are at special risk of being targeted in phishing scams if you work in a financial institution. An example includes when scammers use insider bank lingo and stolen employee login credentials and then convince employees to initiate wire transfers overseas – to the scammers.

The Classic Pyramids Scheme Scan

This scam asks you to send money by mail to the person whose name is at the top of the list. You are then told to add your own name to the bottom and forward the updated list to a number of other people. Naturally, your name never gets to the top of the list.

The Nigerian Princes Scam

Nigerian scammers are becoming increasingly sophisticated and enticing. Lures include international lotteries, and get-rich schemes helping deposed dictators transfer secret caches of cash out of their Swiss bank accounts. Naturally, you are asked to send money to the scammers.

The Hit Man Scam

This is ridiculous, but scammers regularly send emails to warn people that the only way to prevent being assassinated is to buy a security alarm connected to “Agent Bauer” of the “International Intelligence Bureau” – what a joke.

The Loan Modification Scam

These enticing emails offer homeowners lower interest rates and lower payments. Email recipients are advised to stop all communication with their lenders and in return for up-front fees will have much lower interest rates and payments.

The Hot Investment Tip Scam

This sophisticated scam involves hackers learning which stocks people own. The stock owners are then sent emails advising them to sell underperforming stocks. The associated “tax payments” required for the process to go through are sent to the scammers.

The Russian Girl Scam

This scam involves a supposedly attractive Eastern European woman whom you have met on a social networking site. The scam involves the lovely lady wanting to come and meet you – however, she needs money for a ticket and thus you are encouraged to give out your credit card information or wire funds.

Work-at-Home Scam

This rather clever scan involves scammers collecting contacts through resume websites. Victims are told to download various software programs for their new “jobs” – this then naturally includes a payment to the scammers.

The Nigerian Wealth Scam

In this scam you receive an email asking you to pay legal costs so that an estate can be freed – you will naturally (supposedly) be more than compensated once the inheritance is made available.

Lottery Scam

Emails are sent informing you that you have won a large amount of money. The catch is before you can collect your ‘winnings’ you need to pay a processing fee – to the scammers of course.

Disaster Relief Scam

These scams involve setting up fake charity websites and enticing people to donate to whatever disaster has recently occurred.

In summary, this is by no means an exhaustive list of email scams with new ones being thought up all the time so checking carefully your emails is an ongoing job – don’t ever reply to the email scams, simply delete them.

Common Emal Scams To Watch Out For

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