With email becoming the standard way in which the majority of people keep in touch, both for business and socially, it was only a matter of time before the platform fell victim to con artists, scams and other unscrupulous activities. A wide variety of email scams exist, and come in many shapes and forms.
The most commonly known, and often laughed at, involves trying to convince the receiver that the email has been sent by a wealthy person. This wealthy person declares that they have a fortune which has no legal inheritor, and that they are looking to invest the money in churches in email receiver’s country.
If buying into the scam, the receiver will be told that they need only to pay a processing fee, after which the vast amount of money will be transferred to them. Of course, upon paying the processing fee no fortune will ever be transferred, and the so called wealthy person will promptly disappear. It is interesting to note that these types of emails are well known across the world, but that first world countries are said to be the easiest to fool.
Over the years email scams have evolved and developed, taking on many new forms, and often becoming rather convincing. One such modern variation is the lottery scam. This involves a person receiving an email that declares they have won the lottery, and that a large amount of money is owed to them. It is not so different from the previous version mentioned, except that lottery scam emails will often appear highly professional.
Logos will often be used from known lottery companies, and contact details will even be given for claim offices. If calling the number, the person will speak to an authentic sounding claim agent, who will go a long way to convincing the victim that the situation is legitimate. The easy way to spot a lottery scam is, of course, to ask ones self if they have entered such a lottery, bought tickets, or otherwise in any way been involved with it.
It is also telling that the emails are often addressed to no one in particular, since they will have been sent in bulk, to random email addresses. It goes without saying that any organisation looking to give away a large sum of money would know that person’s first and second names.
After the lottery scam emails, a far more sophisticated wave of con artist emails began doing the rounds. These involved emails by all means looked to be from a bank, with professional design, logos, and all other bells and whistles. The email declared that the person’s bank account was at risk, and that they needed to provide login details to avoid losing money. Upon entering the login details the scam artists would, of course, log into the account, transfer the person’s money into their own bank accounts, and disappear.
To avoid such scams keep in mind that a bank will never, for any reason, ask a person to enter their account details beyond the official website. Any email or person asking for bank account details is almost certainly up to no good.