It has recently come to my attention that not everyone can easily tell a scam email from a regular email. Today’s blog is dedicated to giving you some tips on how to determine if you have a scam on your hands.
Check out any email you get before you respond or panic. You should:
1. Check www.snopes.com to see if the email has been reported by others. Once you’re on the site, all you need to do is type either the subject of the email or some key words or a sentence from the email into the search box.
2. Check www.google.com to see if the email is a scam. Again, you can type in the subject of the email or a key sentence from it. Some items will not be reported on Snopes, but they will be reported on other sites that can be found using Google.
3. Before you forward ANY email that gives some sort of warning or states a political view with which you agree, check it out to make sure it’s valid. One of the main reasons we have so much spam is because some emails circle the globe hundreds of times because no one takes the time to fact check them. I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of spending a significant amount of my day deleting spam.
As a rule, the IRS will not send you unsolicited email concerning your tax situation, you will not receive an email indicating that you’ve won a lottery into which you’ve never entered, and the BBB / Dun and Bradstreet (D&B) will not send you email to alert you to complaints about your company or problems with your credit rating.
It has recently come to my attention that the scammers are even starting to use the phone, so here a few non-computer related tips:
1. If you receive a call from someone indicating that you are sending out spam because your computer has been taken over, hang up. Do not allow the person to talk you into a remote session to fix your computer.
2. If you receive an unsolicited check in the mail that says you can cash it, but you need to send a processing fee back, tear it up. If you don’t recognize the sender, it’s likely all you will do is end of with bounced check fees and, if you follow the instructions, a lot of debt.
The bottom line to this entire post is to think before you click. Scammer (and spammers) count on the fact that you’ll react quickly out of fear. Check out every email you receive to make sure you’re not being scammed and that you’re not perpetuating the spam problem on the internet. Also, if you must forward an email to multiple recipients, use BCC and not CC. Doing so protects us all from a computer that truly does get infected with an email worm.
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