Top 5 Types of E-Mail Scams

E-Mailing is the heart of many business operations. From internal emailing to emailing customers, clients, and vendors, your company probably sends and receives hundreds to thousands of emails a month. Along the way you may run into some email scams. Some are painfully obvious, while others may be dangerously disguised as a customer or coworker. Here’s a quick list of the top email scams currently and how to avoid them!

The Inheritance Scam

This is a scam almost everyone has heard of and has become relatively harmless to the more skeptical email users. This email scam starts off explaining that the sender has a large wealth that they need help bringing to the United States and that if you help them you will receive a reward. When you respond to the sender (please don’t) , they will request your banking information to send you the “money”, all you have to do is send them a few hundred dollars so that a processing fee is paid. The scammer will continue to request money for processing fees until the user realizes they have been scammed. This scam also appears on various listings such as Craigslist in the form of “make money instantly” or “make easy money”.

How to avoid this scam: Never give you banking information to anyone over email. If it sounds to good to be true, it is.

The Fake URL Scam

This scam can be harder to detect for the average email user. Users may receive an email that seems to be a legitimate promotion or news story. When the user clicks on the link, it leads them to a site that is covered in malware and spyware, crippling you computer and potentially your whole network. What happened? The sender of any email can hide the destination of a link or have a link forward you to a completely different website.

How to avoid this scam: Check to see where a link is going to take you before you click it. Either hover you mouse over the link or google the destination if you are not familiar with the site.  If it is an honest sender, you should always be able to google the site they want you to visit.

The “Your Invoice is Attached” Scam

This scam is relatively newer than most. This scam will seem like it is from someone you know, mostly likely a customer or client you have dealing with. It will be an email with a subject line similar to “Your Invoice is Attached” with a pdf or excel sheet attached. When you click to download this attachment, your computer and network will most likely be hit with malware and ransomware.

How to avoid this scam: Keep on your toes! Users are cautioned to be very careful with this scam.
Contact your IT Managed Services Firm Immediately. Ask the customer or client, in a separate email using the email address you normally contact them with, if they sent you an invoice. Do not forward them the scam email or you may cause them to get a virus.

The Job Posting Scam

Scams often go after targets they find susceptible to clicking their links. This scam appears to be a standard job posting. They can even be emailing you because of a resume you posted to a job site. The scammer will either ask for sensitive information or money with the promise of an interview in return.

How to avoid this scam: Again, never give sensitive information such as banking numbers or social security numbers over email. Also, it’s probably not appropriate to look at job postings on or using your business email account (if you don’t own the business).

The F.B.I. Scam

This scam should hopefully be easy to catch, but it is still around because it still manages to net victims. You may receive an email saying that the F.B.I. has discovered unlawful content and practices on you devices and you will be arrested  unless you reply back with the payment information of prepaid visa cards.

How to avoid this scam: While the prospect of being arrested may cause a lapse in judgement to some people, please remember that the Federal Bureau of Investigations is not going to take a bribe of prepaid VISA cards.


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