There are con artists everywhere. And these days, one of their favorite means of attack is your email’s inbox. Here are a few you should keep an eye out for.
- You’ve Got a Package—This scam involves an email from the UPS, or so you think. It will be titled something like “Packet Service” and will state that you have a package that was undeliverable due to an incorrect address. If you fall for it, you’ll follow the instructions and open the attachments. And then you’ll slap your palm to your forehead in agony because you just downloaded a virus! The result? You’re on the phone searching for PC repair services.
- Wire Transfer—Almost everyone has gotten one of these emails. Some generous person from a foreign land needs your help and will wire you thousands of dollars for it. All they need is your bank account information and they’ll get moving and you’ll be one step closer to wealth. Guess what? Not only are you going to be in the market for computer repair after this one, but probably reporting an identity theft case as well!
- Fake Order—After a bit of surfing and maybe even shopping, you get this email that confirms an order you don’t remember placing. You question yourself and think, “oh crap, did I accidentally click that buy button?” So you follow the cancel link from the email. And now you’ve given away your personal data and might have an infected computer. Better option? Delete it without even reading it.
- Lottery Winner—Do we need to even explain this one? Look, if you win the lottery, it’s safe to say you aren’t going to find out by email. And better yet, if you don’t even play the lottery, you surely are not going to win it. So any emails with subjects that imply otherwise, please disregard.
- Bank Update—These emails ask you to update your personal info. And we hate to say it, but they might even look totally legit. Of course, you’re going to need more than simple computer services to get you out of this one. But luckily it’s easy to avoid. Remember, your real bank will take great measures to protect your identity. You have to jump through quite a few hoops to gain online access to your accounts. If it seems too easy, then something is probably wrong.
- Unreal News—If you get an email announcing some groundbreaking, stop-the-presses type of news, be wary. Instead of clicking the link to go to the actual story, instead delete the email. You can always go to your favorite news site and see what’s happening in the world. That way, you won’t put yourself at risk and you’ll be aware if something big really went down.
Remember, your best bet is to not open emails from people you don’t know. This will keep you from destroying your computer and handing over your private information.