So, if you get an email that falls in one of these categories:

  • Seems suspicious or makes you wonder if it is real in some way
  • From someplace you don’t have an account as far as you can remember
  • From someplace you do have an account but the message doesn’t seem right (and sometimes even if it does seem right)

Don’t click on the link in the email!

One of the ways spammers make money is by stealing your personal information and then using it (definition of phishing).

This doesn’t always have to be your bank account number.

For example, say you are paying someone to advertise for your business (like Google AdWords). Someone pretending to be the advertiser send you an email that says you need to login to your account and check/verify/change/fix something.

You click the link from the email into the site.

You think you are going to adwords.google.com but you are actually going to adwords.google.cn.com or something similar.

When you put in your account username and password, you have just given the spammer your username and password.

Sometime later you login to the account yourself and discover that you have been running ads for another website and you got charged for it.

The morale of the story:

If you get an email, don’t click on the link in the email. Instead open your browser and type the address yourself. Then you can check it yourself and make sure there isn’t really something you need to do and you don’t give your information to a spammer.

Want more survey results for my Email Spam Survey, will only take a few minutes if you don’t mind.