What are email frauds/ scams and how do they affect me?

    Email frauds/scams are spoofed/falsified emails that are designed to fool recipients into giving their personal data in order to secure an unfair gain. The mail is made to look genuine often by forging innocent and popular companies to gain credibility.

    ‘Spoofed’ email and fraudulent websites are usually designed to trick the recipient and harvest personal data like credit card numbers, passwords and PINs, bank account details and social security number. The harvested data is then used for hacking/misusing the account/credit-card. As they normally spoof trusted and popular brands of banks, credit card companies or online-stores, the recipient often is lulled into a sense of false security and responds to the mail, thereby becoming a victim of the scam/identity theft.

    Examples of online frauds

    Some of the examples of online frauds:

    – Nigerian money offers;

    – Bogus credit card offers;

    – Advance fee loans;

    – Work-at-home scams;

    – Pyramids and multilevel marketing;

    – Investment scams; – Business opportunities;

    – Job scams;

    – Phishing scams.

    Federal Trade Commission has categorized email scams into twelve broad categories. Please visit http://www.onguardonline.gov/spam.html to learn more.