Scam emails are a threat to everyone nowadays. Everyone has heard tales of a fake email from your bank account leading you to give away your bank details, or even a business owner promising a huge profit if you invest in their products. Phishing and Spam emails have become a new threat in the past 20 years that introduced new threats to us and our data.
So How Did This All Spam Start?
The first known email spam (although not yet called that), was sent on May 1, 1978 to several hundred users on ARPANET (The Advanced Research Projects Agency Network). It was an advertisement for a presentation by Digital Equipment Corporation for their DECSYSTEM-20 products sent by Gary Thuerk, a marketer of theirs.
The reaction to it was almost universally negative, and for a long time there were no further instances. Until the turn of the second millennium which brought a new digital threat using old tricks with a new face.
Most spam is irritating and time-consuming, but some spam is positively dangerous to handle. Usually email scams are trying to get you to give up your bank details so that the fraudsters can either withdraw money, or steal your identity. Such messages include phishing scams and advanced fee fraud.
These scam emails may appear like a flimsy attempt to gain your personal details to most people now but there are still those who could be affected. So, how do you protect yourself against scam emails? By being smart.
How Can I Avoid Getting Scammed?
I know it may sound obvious, but it is true. The best way you can avoid falling prey to scammers via email, or even in the streets, is to know the tricks and be prepared for them. We can get into the mind of a hacker by knowing the goals of the scammer. Nine times out of ten the scammer is looking to gain your personal data to either impersonate you or use your details to steal your money. Knowing this is the first step!
So, what Is next? Recognising the authenticity of the email. You need to be able to recognise the key tricks that they will use to make you think that this email is authentic. If it is a big bank that contacts you, they will have multiple different levels of security and authenticity to make sure that you are able to recognise them and trust that the information shared is safe. But this won’t stop some scammers trying their best.
Most of these scams come as disguised issues with your account from a so called ‘employee’ from your bank. They will tell you that you bank account has been hacked (Ironic I know) and that they need your details to gain access back to it to save your money. Don’t fall for this! The banks will never ask you for your details as they already have it.
These types of scams aren’t exclusive to banks though. They can come wearing a bunch of different disguises. They can pretend to be work mates asking for your details or to buy some equipment for them that never shows up.
It always pays to be aware of possible scam emails that are disguised as emails from trusted companies or colleagues. Protect your data, get e-mail smart today!