Beware of email con tricks

Email has become a convenient way of communication for both business and personal purposes, but one has to beware of email con tricks. These types of cons are becoming increasingly common as the number of email users increases. The reality is that the scam artists get away scot-free, with the fallout often leaving the victim with the burden of financial loss as well as a mess to clean up. There’s no need to sit and wait for it to happen to you, as you can follow a few simple steps in order to protect yourself.

Undoubtedly one of the most popular scams of late has been the “419 scam”, named after the Nigerian penal code section criminalising it. In this scam, the recipient was told by email that he has won a prize or a lottery, or asked to use his bank account to help to move money out of Nigeria. The catch was that the recipient had to first send money and the details of his account to pay for the paperwork before its release. Needless to say, the victims never saw their money again.

Another target market has been online banking. Fraudsters in this case fake the email header to make it appear as if it is coming from a particular bank. In their emails they direct the bank's customers to a faked web site that looks just like the genuine site. As with the real site, individuals enter their account information as well as their security information, which the fraudsters simply take note of. The hard part is over for them and they are free to log into your account and make off with your hard-earned cash.

You must not only beware of email con tricks, you should do what you can to prevent being a victim. Never click on a link embedded in an email that appears to come from a financial institution, no matter how authentic it may look, rather type in the website itself in the address bar. Don't click on links to offers for free software or products that you receive in an email, especially if you have never heard of the company before. If you do download software from websites, make sure it is legitimate, because sometimes you may end up getting software that allows the criminal to see everything that you type into your computer. Consider security software that tries to detect and block these dangerous sites.

The World Wide Web is a big place, it’s convenient and the possibilities are endless, but make no mistake, there are people out there who are dedicated to getting their hands on your money. Beware of email con tricks and learn how to avoid them getting the better of you.

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