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Rajiv Singha

How to Recognize and Dodge Email Scams?

July 22, 2013
12
Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

Internet scams are spreading rampantly across the world. And guess what the most popular carrier of such scams is? No prize for guessing – our beloved internet darling, email. This post gives you a quick read on some of the most common online scams that are spread via emails.

email-scams-image

1. The Lost Traveler
Scam Name
– Stranded Traveler Scam

What is it? – You receive an email from someone claiming to be your friend, who got lost or robbed somewhere in the middle of nowhere. The sender solemnly asks you to loan them some money, with a usual subject line “I am writing this with tears in my eyes”. Really, you got lost or robbed but still managed to write a nice, awe-inspiring email instead of just giving a call?

What should you do? – Confirm if your friend really did go to such a trip, from his friends or family. Or, if you find something fishy about it, you always have the “delete” button at your disposal!

2. Hello, I am a Genie, I make you Rich!
Scam Name
– Work from Home Scam

What is it? – This is, perhaps, one of the most widespread online scams. You receive an email that takes you to wonderland, where you see yourself going from rags to riches by just downloading a software, and paying an upfront registration fee to begin the “work from home” job. Give money to get money eh?

What should you do? – Simply remember the saying, “there is no such thing as a free lunch”.

3. Help me move Money and I will dip you in Cash!
Scam Name – Nigerian Scam

What is it? – Ever received an email where some person is asking for your help to access a humongous sum of money? This agenda may be sugarcoated with hundreds of stories, explaining why they have chosen “you” as their superman. So what’s in it for you? Well, you will be rewarded for your kind assistance. But first, you must cough up some cash to help them initiate the process.

What you can do? – Well, we just told you about how this scam works. You know what to do right?

4. Congratulations! You just got Rich!
Scam Name
– Email Lottery Scam

What is it? – One day your luck strikes and you receive an email that informs you that you have won yourself a huge sum of money in some lottery. To take the process further, you would have to contact some account manager. And the final step would be to pay an advance processing fee so that the money can be transferred to your account.

What you can do? – Think, what on earth did you do that won you such an amount of money? Or, read this post on the Google award email scam.

5. Hello Kind Sir, Need a Bit of your Info!
Scam name
– Phishing Email Scam

What is it? – Phishing email scams, unlike the ones mentioned above, do not directly ask the victim for money. Instead, they trick the victim into divulging personal or banking information in response to an email that looks like to have come from a genuine entity like a bank or other financial entities. Such emails usually redirect the victim to a fake website that requests for such information.

What to do? – No genuine financial institution will ask you for your personal or banking information over email or phone. If you get any such emails, confirm the matter with the sender over the phone or by personally meeting them.

6. Child, I can See your Future!
Scam Name
– Astrology/Psychic Scam

What is it? – Your inbox receives an email from a Professor Sybil Trelawney, who has had visions about your past and future. It also says that the professor has a magical spell that can turn around your life. But in order for the mojo to work, you would have to spare some money for talismans, golden eggs, pendants, or probably, a half-burned wood or a charcoal.

What you can do? – Ignore Professor Trelawney, for the only person who can have visions about your future is you.

As online scammers are becoming more technologically sound, email scams are evolving with time. Taking the right preventive measures is the only way to doge them. And these measures include employing multilayered security software for your system and having a keen eye to test the legitimacy of every email that hits your inbox.

Have something to add to this story? Share it in the comments.

Rajiv Singha
About Rajiv Singha
Rajiv is an IT security news junkie and a computer security blogger at Quick Heal. He is passionate about promoting cybersecurity awareness, content and digital...
Articles by Rajiv Singha »

12 Comments

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  1. Mukund P JoshiJuly 22, 2013 at 6:59 PM

    Surprisingly, while I was going through this very informative article, on your same page below was a blinking message= ” This is not JOke” YOU ARE ….TH CUSTOMER AND WON….(although I did not pay any heed to it. But why then such ads should be allowed to appear on a page which is educating us how to keep away from such eluring message- scams, fishing messages..

    Reply
    • Hello Mr. Joshi,

      The blinking message that you saw is not associated with the webpages of Quick Heal. There could be two possible reasons behind the pop-up:

      1. The pop-up ad “This is not a joke, You are the lucky customer or 100th customer to win…” usually results from an adware (advertising-supported software) that infects browsers like Google Chrome, Mozilla, Internet Explorer, Safari, etc. After the adware infects a browser, it usually displays the same pop-up ad in most of the websites a user visits.

      2. Such pop-up ads are integrated in many web pages, but they are not integrated in the web pages of Quick Heal.

      Regards,

      Reply
  2. very good! keep it up!

    Reply
  3. Vijay Anand DelhiJuly 23, 2013 at 8:53 AM

    Greed is a cause of most loses unawareness is second.

    Reply
  4. Good article. Keep it up. Another scam is a mail I received recently that someone tried to access my password from Russia. To find out about it and take preventive measures, I was supposed to click on a link. the mail purportedly came from Outlook. com, but the reply address had nothing similar. I ignored it.

    Reply
    • Hi RV,

      What you have mentioned is also a classic example of email scams. You took the right measure by ignoring the email. Thank you for sharing your experience with us. Do leave your comments if you come across any more of such emails in future.

      Regards,

      Reply
  5. Very nice explanation…. Thank you…

    Reply
  6. Well written article. I will add one more. You will get response to your advert in OLX or such other online sale website. He/she will offer you ‘more than cost’ and ask you to provide your details including Bank Account, full name, address etc. If you do not provide this info, pester you with the same mails. There will be stories that ‘it is to be sent to my son/daughter for her birthday in some African country’. BE watchful, it is meant to steal your identity.

    Reply
  7. sumati nathAugust 5, 2013 at 3:28 PM

    campagning is required to educate the user as you have been trying.there are lot of stories.thanx

    Reply
  8. satyabrata biswasAugust 20, 2013 at 6:18 PM

    Winning of fabulous prizes message is also a frequent feature in mobile SMSs.

    Reply
  9. GOOOOD KEEP IT UP………

    Reply