Email scam alerts are becoming more common, and some of them more sophisticated. In the last month my email address has been used in spam emails, and the presence of a trusted, or email address you recognise, can result in your own account quickly being hacked.
One of the common scams going around is where an email arrives from someone you know asking for urgent help. Typically they say they had been mugged in a country like Turkey, everything stolen except passports, hotel would not let them leave until bill paid and could you send them £2100 asap – you are their only hope!
Emails with no content apart from just a website link are usually viruses to extract information like your address book. This is then used to send out emails to people you know which appear to come from your own address. Once the address book has been hacked it is impossible to prevent it being used again and again.
If you receive suspicious emails then do not open the email or any of the attachments, and delete it.
How to spot scam emails:
These often contain alarmist messages and threats of account closures, Promises of money for little or no effort, Deals that sound too good to be true, Requests to donate to a charitable organization after a disaster that has been in the news. They also regularly have bad grammar and misspellings.
What to do if you have been targeted:
Change the passwords or PINs on all your online accounts that you think might be compromised. If this is linked with online banking or other online services where you have financial details – Paypal, Ebay etc then change your password and contact the merchant. Routinely review your bank and credit card statements monthly for unexplained charges or inquiries that you didn’t initiate.