It’s common for people to get hundreds of spam emails flooding their inbox on a regular basis. Many scammers and spam companies out there are trying to get personal information about people. They get this information through many different platforms, such as: email, text messages, social media direct messaging, and even phone calls that are usually automated voice messages in a foreign language. Recently, there has been a massive number of incoming calls masking their Caller ID as a reputable company. This entices people to answer. Usually you can just hang up, but sometimes the callers can convince you that they are legitimate and are only contacting you for your benefit.
One can argue that scammers and spam emails are among the worst, and most prevalent ways, people get their information stolen. These are sometimes also referred to as phishing emails, another term used to identify fake emails trying to obtain information.
Marketing Spam Emails
There are also emails that include a marketing headline, a way to support their service from a marketing perspective. This means that the email is usually asking you to purchase their service, or something related to donating to a good cause. Many times, these emails flood your inbox over and over, and continue to push you into purchasing their products or services.
What You Should Know About Scam Marketing Emails
It is unfortunate that nowadays, people are getting scammed through emails that are masking themselves to look very similar to a legitimate company. They usually come in appearing like a normal email at first, but there are a few ways to recognize them and identify when it’s a fake company trying to obtain your personal or financial information.
There are a few ways scammers and spam emails benefit from tricking people into believing they are responding to a regular email:
They are generally looking to steal personal information from the recipient. They want you to enter a password, follow a link to update your password, download a coupon through an external link, or frighten you by saying they identified login attempts to one of your accounts. Another type of information they are hoping to steal is banking information, including passwords to websites that are connected to a bank account or payment method. This can be in the form of a fake email from your financial institution asking you to update your password. It could also be a third-party payment website, like PayPal, alerting you to unsuccessful login attempts to your account. What happens when you give in to these scam emails is that you are typing your information into a webpage created by the scammers who can copy your entry and use it at their disposal. So, when you do something like enter your password to your online banking account, they now have access to it.
This works for any accounts you may have that include financial information. For example, with web-based widgets where you can skip the steps involved in entering your credit card details for every purchase, once someone has access to your Google account, they also have access to this. Luckily, Google includes additional security features like two-factor authentication where you must enter a passcode that gets texted to your phone.
There are also situations where emails are sent from addresses posing as work colleagues, asking you to make a purchase on behalf of the company. These emails can go as far as asking you to follow a link to a webpage selling a product, and they usually do a good job of copying the look of a real website. These emails can include the correct company logos and images, plus the writing and context of what a real email would look like. In some cases, a staff member may recognize the name and assume it’s legitimate. Following the link and inputting payment information opens company’s finances to the scammer. This same method can be used to mass email staff of a company asking for company information as well.
How to Spot Scammers and Spam Emails
In most cases, the emails will spam your inbox, as you will probably see the same email multiple times. These fake companies usually go with the ‘try and try again’ method when sending out spam emails, because they don’t receive complaints. People will continue to create new email layouts from a variety of companies and send them out consistently. Fortunately, there are ways to spot this type of spam and/or scam emails; whether for marketing or information theft purposes. Over the years web companies or major platforms have shared information with service users about how to spot when emails are fake or phishing.
Do They Use Your Name?
One of the easiest ways to identify that an email is a scam is when the apparent company does not address you by your name. This is because whoever is churning out these fake emails are just collecting emails, so they don’t have information about your full name. Normally, a legitimate email will address you personally because you have an account with their company.
These scammer and spam emails will use general greetings such as dear friend, ma’am, sir, customer, etc., or address you by your email address.
Do You Recognize the Company?
Another way you can identify that an email is marketing spam is when the “from” address is not company-based. When you receive an email, they usually have an address directly related to the company they work at or with. For example, the email should follow the general guidelines of email@example.com, or firstname.lastname@example.org where the domain is under the company. Usually, a fake email address will look more like a string of letters and numbers followed by an unknown domain such as email@example.com, or a similar set up.
There are other cases when fake emails will attempt to get you to send them money via donations. They may advertise a cause or organization that is completely fictional and ask you to support by sending in a donation. This is more related to marketing scam emails, where someone reaches out to you personally, or to a company, asking you to purchase products or services. Again, you can tell by looking at who sent the email, looking up the company name, or hovering over any embedded URL or links to external pages. The bottom of your screen will display the link and it’s usually obvious that it leads you either nowhere, or to a completely unrelated page.
Do You Work with That Company?
Another way to identify when an email is a scam is when a fake IT or technology company reaches out alerting you to an issue with your webpage or domain. For example, communicating that they attempted to connect with your webpage and can see issues with it, that they can fix for a cost. Sometimes they will market it as using them to upgrade or enhance a webpage. This is another type of marketing scam email that might be received. You can tell when these emails are fake by reviewing the email address that sent it to you, and sometimes even researching the identified company can provide you with a lot of insight.
Are They from Your Country?
Emails that come from other countries, or generally fake emails, will often have incorrect spelling and bad grammar. You can tell if it was a copy and paste situation when the format of the images and text are off center. There are usually large blank spaces at the top of the email, and you can sometimes tell when it includes a snapshot of a page because it isn’t clickable.
An easy way to identify a scammers and spam email is when you don’t use a service provided by the company that is reaching out to you, or if you don’t have an account with this company. For example, receiving an email from a bank that you’ve never used. They will probably try to add scare tactics by saying your account has been compromised and needs to be updated. On the other hand, they will say there is a large sum of money waiting in your account that needs to be accepted by logging in. In some cases, they will set up the email to make you believe your account is on hold, or suspended, and needs to be confirmed via a link. It’s like when you log in to an account for the first time from a new device, and that company will send you an email asking you to confirm if it was you.
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Examples and Common Dupes
This was briefly covered above in this article, but there are many examples where you can identify a common scam email. These are generally very important emails that, when legitimate, people will address immediately. Therefore, many scammers use this method of phishing to attempt to gain personal and financial information from people.
Banks are probably the most used companies to attempt to steal money from people by getting their information. Emails are sent from third parties alerting someone to fraud, attempts to access the account, suspension, or account holds. This also includes payment methods such as PayPal or Google Pay where account information is stored elsewhere.
Retail stores might also reach out to you via spam emails by sending you special discounts or offers to purchase products. For example, receiving coupons or discounts for a clothing store by accessing a code through a link. Or your cell phone company telling you that you are eligible for a free upgrade or a better deal, and pushing for immediate payment. Clicking these links make you vulnerable to additional spam and entering any information using links can open you up to having your information stolen.
Another way fake emails will attempt to scam you out of money or personal details is by posing as an official government body, something like police, or tax and debt collectors. People are very aware that this can scare you into trying to fix the situation as quickly as possible, so the chances of them giving in to any ask for personal information are much higher.
Receiving email alerts that someone attempted to login to your account can be terrifying. When you receive an email letting you know that a password attempt was made on your account, this causes concern. Scam emails pose as being helpful and saying they can fix the issue right away by updating your password.
A very popular example of fraudulent emails is when they say you won X amount of money, or a free product or service. Of course, you can tell when they are scammers and spam if they ask you to enter your personal information or credit card information. They get people to give in by saying they need your address to ship you the product, or they need your banking information to transfer you your winnings. If you do ever think the email is legit, be sure to check the company name and never click external links for confirmation. Usually searching it on the internet will give you valuable information.
Avoid Falling for Scammer and Spam Emails
No matter where the email supposedly comes from, there is never a reason a company needs you to provide personal information, especially your SIN number, banking information, or address. When they seem relatively urgent, that should be another red flag.
Unsolicited spam emails that ask you to complete a survey to win a free product via an external link, are never a good idea to click. In most cases, they will send you to a fake webpage that can infect your device with viruses that steal your data. Additionally, never download an attachment in an email to your device. This can also give you viruses which scan your hard drive for information like your passwords.
Always remember to check the email address that it comes from. It is generally very easy to spot when it’s spam or unsolicited as scammers and spam don’t seem to use very good email domains. They are never accurate or match the company they apparently work for. A good tip is to look up the website and check their Contact page to see what the email domain looks like.
Never send personal information via email platforms. If someone asks for a password, banking information, addresses, etc., through a regular email channel, it is very unsecure and unsafe. Emails are easily accessible by scammers. Keep your personal information in the company/webpage’s portal.
A great way to protect your data and technology is to have spam filters and virus protection across all devices. This includes your cell phone, laptop, computer, tablet, and anything else that can be hacked by outside sources. With modern innovations, there are countless virus and threat protection software and programs that can do this for you. Keep your data safe and secure. You are vulnerable even while doing something as simple as browsing the internet. Keep unsolicited emails out of your inbox for good by moving them to junk , or blocking them completely.
Getting scammed by fake companies has caused a lot of people to lose a lot of money. These scammers target those who might be vulnerable and don’t know how to identify a scam. Pretending to give out things for free, telling someone they should ‘Click here’ because they won, or using scare tactics to get people to enter their personal information only to scam them for thousands of dollars, and possibly even steal their identity, is low. However, it’s easy to spot using the outlined items above. Stay alert for these red flags when you are using the internet and checking your emails. It comes down to not clicking or downloading questionable links and attachments. And don’t provide financial details or personal information. Also, hit ‘Move to Junk’ on the spam content you keep getting about winning a free iPad. This will help keep you safe from theft, and other generally frustrating situations.
To learn more about keeping your information safe from scammers and spam, please contact us here or through the form below.
Joshua Lyons Marketing, LLC was established in 2015. Since that time we have provided digital marketing services to business and professionals. We help our clients increase their online exposure as a means to increase sales and revenue. Our core services include search engine optimization (SEO), website development and content creation. We also provide other online marketing services, such as email marketing, marketing consultations and various types of advertising. Our team is based in the Milton, Pace and Pensacola, Florida area. However, we work with clients throughout the United States. Read More