Spam emails are annoying and it is dangerous to your internet security.
Although many of us think we are good at identifying a spam message, spammer regularly update their method and message to be as genuine as possible.
In reality, email spam costs businesses a over $20.5 billion dollars every year.
85% of all emails are spam and for every 12,500,000 spam emails sent, one person will fall victim to the spammer.
The number of daily spam messages differs regularly, the average daily spam range from 122 billion to 316.39 billion.
What is spam email?
Spam email refers to unsolicited email messages, which are unwanted junk emails sent indiscriminate in bulk to a large group of recipient.
Spam can be distributed by email, text messages or social media.
Spammers sent spam email or message to promote questionable goods, or make false claims to deceive recipients into believing something that’s not true.
Acronym of SPAM in email and text message
SPAM in email and text message is the acronym for “Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing“.
Non-Solicited means the recipient have not give the sender any permission for the message to be sent.
It is a common misconception that SPAM stands for “Stupid Pointless Annoying Malware.”
Although it sort of make sense, that all spam message are annoying and most of them contain Malware that can infect computers, it is a made-believe acronym.
Types of Spam Emails
Spammers send spam message in various forms and through different mode of media.
While some of these spam are marketing materials promoting unsolicited goods.
Other types of spam messages can spread malware and trick you into giving your personal information, such as; phone numbers, national security number, and bank details etc.
Many of these spammers use scare tactics to trick you into thinking you need to pay to get out of trouble.
Here are the different types of spam emails found on the internet.
1. Spam Chain Messages
Spam chain message are message designed to make the recipient share or spam their contact list. Which in turn, this vicious cycle will carry onto their.
2 common ways of how spam chain message works are.
- Chain message that tells of an exciting or thrilling stories.
- Chain message that persuade you to pass the message along under penalty.
Spam chain emails and messages are probably one of the most annoying spam, but it is the hardest spam to avoid, because it is send by your friends or someone you personally know.
How to avoid spam chain messages?
Don’t be part of the spam. When you received a spam chain message, delete it straight away!
Don’t read it, don’t think about it, and don’t dwell on it!
Spam Chain Messages Example
“If you don’t share to 1,000 people, then you will get spam for 100 years!” Boo!
2. Commercial Advertisements
Advertisement spam email and messages are the most common form of spam. The spammer will send unsolicited emails offering products and services, such as, software, weight loss pills and attractive offers.
Although it is a spam, it might still be a real offer in some cases.
How to avoid commercial advertisements spam?
Simply unsubscribe from weird websites or website which you no longer have interest in.
Usually legit website do not want to spam their contact list.
When the recipient is not interested in it’s content, the website will rather not sent to the recipient as each email or message sent to an uninterest recipient cost money.
Spam Advertising Example
“Buy this ‘Spammy Magic Pill’ for just $1,000,000 only! 99% discount if you buy now!”
3. Fake News Spam
These are spam about current hot topics that get the attention of the recipient. The news headlines are usually catchy and click-baiting. Usually these misleading headlines are about politics, getting rich quick, or health scare.
In general, this unethical tactic is used by spammers to bring you to a malicious website.
How to avoid falling for fake news spam?
- Pay attention where the news is coming from.
- Check the source of the news, especially news from social media.
- Within the news article, find out where does the article get it’s source of information.
- Get your news from various sources, even sources which have an opposing opinion to yours.
- Read not only the headline, but the content itself.
Fake News Spam Example
“Johnny Spammer, a multi-millionaire just agree to give 1 million dollar to anyone who is going to click this in the next 24 hours.”
4. Antivirus Warning
Antivirus warning is a common spam tactic which lead to many computers infected with malware. These emails or messages warns you about a computer infection and offers a “free” antivirus scan to “fix the infected computer”.
Buy clicking the link, you will grant the hacker access to your computer system, or download a malicious file.
How to avoid falling for antivirus warning spam?
Never click a random link from a suspicious email that demand immediate action.
If you suspect your computer is infected with a virus, pursue legitimate cybersecurity solutions to protect your device.
Antivirus Warnings Spam Example
” Warning! Your computer is suspected to be infected! Click this link to scan your computer for suspected virus now.”
5. Money Scams
Worst and most disgusting type of spams is to prey on the goodwill of the recipient. Money scams begins by telling you a story of someone who is suffering and need help.
The story is often about needing funds for family emergency, or tragic situations where children are suffering from hunger.
Money scams will ask you to provide your bank account information, or send money to a certain bank account.
How to avoid being scammed by money scam spams?
Never send your bank account information, or personal details to suspected emails or message.
If you want to help someone, it is better if you join reputable organization as a volunteer, or donate to reputable organizations through their official website.
Money Scams Example
“Johnny Spammer is suffering from a painful health issue and requires $1,000,000 for his medical fee. Please help Jonny Spammer by donating $100 to Scammer Bank at account number XXXXXXXXX.”
6. Email Spoofing
Spoofed email usually pretend to be from well-known shopping website, organizations, or government agency.
A spoof email will ask the recipient to provide sensitive personal information and data such as, credit card number, password to the sites, or bank details.
Often spoof emails will included links to a website with a similar looking web address or links that install malware onto the user’s device if clicked.
How to avoid being tricked by spoofing emails or messages?
- Never reply to an email with your sensitive personal information and data. The company or organization always have your information when you’ve registered to it’s system. i.e. Amazon will never ask for your login password, or your credit card number details, as they can simply reset your password if required.
- Fake website often do not have an SSL certificate. Websites with SSL certificate can be identified by the “Lock” icon found on the left of the web address.
- Fake website usually looks very similar to the genuine website, thus it is always better to do a google search to the website you want to find, then to seek convenience and click the unknown link that comes with the email message.
Email Spoofing Example
“Thanks for ordering from youarebeingspoofbadly.com, your “Extra large triple extra comfy bed” is on the way to deliver to you in the next 14-21 days. If you have not purchase this item please click here to cancel your order.”
7. Lottery Scam Spams
Lottery scams often lead victims to believe that they have won a lucky draw or lottery. Spammers often send email or messages to unsuspected recipient to click a link, submit some personal information, or pay a fee in order to get the prizes.
How to avoid being tricked by lottery or lucky draw scam emails or message?
If you don’t recognize the competition, or the email address seems suspicious, never click any links or reply with any of your personal information.
Even if the email seems to be real and the email seems to legit, avoid succumbing into greed and take the bait. This is especially true if you have never join the mentioned lucky draw/competition before.
Lottery or Lucky Winner Scam Email Example
“Congratulations! You are the 1,000,000 visitor to the Scammer Store! You’ve just won our luxurious 7 day 6 night holiday to Hawaii! No it is not a scam! Simply sent us your personal information in the next 24 hours and we will mail you the tickets directly!“
Let’s check out some fun facts about spam below!
Fun Fact about spam in Email and Text Message
The first appearance of SPAM used to illustrate annoying message actually comes from a famous Monty Python Flying Circus sketch.
During the show, there are many repetitive mentions of the canned meat product Spam which result in drowning out the conversation.
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