Spam: What is it?

Spam is email that is unsolicited and unwanted that is sent to your account. You can think of spam as junk mail you get in your mail box. Some spam is harmless message or they could have a virus or malware, it makes it more difficult to find legitimate emails you may have received. There’s a few different types of spam and we’ll review a few different types.

Promotional Spam

Promotional spam is the most common type of spam message. Just as the name suggests, this is promotional material usually promoting some business and their products or services. These emails are not emails you requested and generally unwanted. Typically, you will see a hyperlink in the body of the email. Be sure NOT to click on the link, since many of these links contain viruses and mailware. Before clicking on any link in any email be sure that it is a service you signed up for.

Phishing Spam

A phishing scam is when you get an email that may look legitimate since it appears to come from a trusted website. You may get an email that appears to be from Bank of America, and alerts you to login to your account. A link in the email will take you to a login page that will closely resemble Bank of America’s actual login page. The goal of these sorts of emails is to capture your login information for the specific website. To prevent this type of fraud, go directly to your banks website and do not trust any link within an email. Also, keep in mind financial instituitions will not ask you for personal information, such as your social security number or password in an email.

Illegal Scams

Some emails you may receive , such as the Ngierian Money Transfer schemes, are illegal activities that try get you to send in money while you get nothing in return. These emails will try to convince you to cash a check, and send money back to the person who sent the check in return for keeping a portion of the check. The check bounces and you are out the money you sent. At any time does a solicitaton require you to send money to a third party you have not met to get money returned, is likely an illegal money scam.

Please check the next article on Combating Spam: Using SpamAssassin. For more information on this course please visit Preventing Spam

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