30 Jan 2012

Popular email scams and how to avoid them

Everyone gets sent a malicious email, but not everyone knows how to stop them. Scam Trends released the top email scams in January, and Mother Nature Network said it is important to know what may be coming and know how to avoid getting bitten by these viruses. Antivirus software and internet security are good ways to keep safe no matter what.

The top scams from January includes a USPS delivery failure, an American Airlines "order completion" scam and an additional variation, a ComEdison billing scam and a fake phishing report. All of these scams are trying to provide fake help and are really looking for money, information or to give users viruses or malware. Leslie Meredeth writes on MNN that most companies are betting that a handful of people will slip up and click on something.

"In most cases, it’s better never to open an attachment from people you don’t know. But these days, scammers can make emails appear to be from a known contact," she said. "Worse, Windows is set by default to hide familiar attachment file types, and you might be fooled into thinking a potentially dangerous .exe file is a harmless document because it shows as a .doc."

She said Windows users should change the default under the "start" menu to know when they are getting an attachment. Users also need to make sure they are protected with antivirus software.