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Most of us have received a message from someone who claims to be a company or organization with which you do business. The message may ask you to update, confirm, or validate account information, and threaten you with severe consequences if you don’t act right away.
While it may seem like a legitimate request, chances are it's a scam referred to as "phishing" — and it involves internet thieves looking to lure personal information (credit card numbers, bank account information, Social Security number, passwords, or other sensitive information) from unsuspecting victims.
From offers to earn quick cash while working for home, to collect your prize today, most of the time spam is seen as a nuisance and quickly discarded. Unfortunately, spam can be more than just unsolicited email; it can often contain viruses and other malicious spyware.
These viruses can come in the form of an attachment within the email or a link in email. Once the user opens the attachment or clicks on the link, a virus can be downloaded on their computer. To help guard yourself from potential threats, it’s important to familiarize yourself with some of the most common email scams.
A response to your ad or online auction posting, offering to pay with a cashier's, personal, or corporate check. At the last minute, the so-called buyer (or the buyer's "agent") comes up with a reason for writing the check for more than the purchase price, and asks you to wire back the difference after you deposit the check.
Emails touting a way you can consolidate your bills into one monthly payment without borrowing; stop credit harassment, foreclosures, repossessions, tax levies and garnishments; or wipe out your debts.
Emails boasting enticing odds in foreign lotteries. You may even get a message claiming you've already won! You just have to pay to get your prize or collect your winnings.
Advertisements that promise steady income for minimal labor – in medical claims processing, envelope-stuffing, craft assembly work, or other jobs. The ads use similar come-ons: Fast cash. Minimal work. No risk. And the advantage of working from home when it's convenient for you.
The most common examples of smishing occur when text messages are sent, posing as your financial institution or another business that has access to sensitive information. These messages often contain something that needs “your immediate attention” such as an account suspension or purchase confirmation and could have serious consequences if you do not respond.
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