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Spam, scams and confidence tricks

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: September 04, 2014

By Sarah Doney - Logo Marketing & Design’s web expert

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Email is a great invention, but there’s a price to pay. Logo Marketing & Design's, Sarah Doney, explains how to avoid falling prey to the criminals that lurk in your Inbox.

I’m rich! Or at least I would be if any of these bogus emails from Nigerian ‘government officials’ requesting my bank details so that we can share in millions of dollars that need to be moved out of the country were authentic.

Unfortunately, these emails, and countless other similar online scams are nothing more than a wicked attempt to swindle innocent people and steal their money.

And the bad news is, the criminals are getting better at it.

The falsified email notifications from banks, PayPal, UPS, Amazon… are often indistinguishable from the real thing.

So how can you tell the legitimate emails from the deceitful scams?

The answer is simple: they are all scams. Banks, and all other reputable financial organisations, never send customers emails with insecure links or unsolicited attachments.

Considering the number of security hoops you have to jump through when you so much as telephone the bank yourself, it is hardly likely that they are going to send you a vulnerable email out of the blue.

So when you find an unexpected message like this in your Inbox, simply delete it.

Clicking on a link or an attachment contained within the email, often ending in .exe or .zip, is likely to result in malware being installed on your computer with potentially dire consequences.

Less pernicious, but equally cruel, are the emails that offer, what appears to be, a perfectly credible service.

For example, a message reminding you to pay your annual web address fee may seem perfectly reasonable, particularly because most of us forget the correct renewal date and even the company it is registered with.

But before you send off your £20 – or worse, your credit card details – just check that the company requesting it is the real thing.

Similarly, emails promising thousands of links, articles, directory submissions and goodness knows what else to guarantee your website a place at the top of the Google rankings are often from the Indian sub-continent and will not produce the results they claim.

The email’s poor standard of English should be enough to indicate that their article submissions at least, would not be of the highest quality!

All this makes it hard for the bona fide marketing message to get through. For advice on making your genuine emails stand out from the torrent of spam, take a look at my Web Expert blog at Logo Marketing & Design.

Logo Marketing & Design is a well-established brand and digital agency based just outside Plymouth, Devon.

For further information, please contact Sarah Doney at Logo Marketing and Design. Tel: 01752 830000. Email: sarah@logodesign.co.uk Web: www.logodesign.co.uk

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