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The Risks Associated with SPAM e-Mail Just Went Up

What is SPAM?

In short, SPAM is any unsolicited e-mail. Typically this means e-mail that is sent to solicit the purchase of items. Recently much of the SPAM people have been receiving has been of a sexual nature that many find disturbing. A more complete definition of SPAM can be found at

What are the Risks?

Until recently, most of the risks associated with SPAM e-mail have been associated with money-making schemes used to bilk consumers of thousands of dollars. The Federal Trade Commission lists the 12 Scams Most Likely to Arrive Via Bulk E-Mail as:

The 12 Most Prevalent E-Mail Scams

  1. Business opportunities
  2. Bulk email
  3. Chain letters
  4. Work-at-home schemes
  5. Health and diet scams
  6. Effortless income
  7. Free goods
  8. Investment opportunities
  9. Cable descrambler kits
  10. Guaranteed loans or credit, on easy terms
  11. Credit repair
  12. Vacation prize promotions

Dangerous Brand-Spoofing SPAM E-Mail

Brand- Spoofing SPAM E-Mail looks like it is coming from a company whose brand your recognize, possibly one with whom you conduct business. Sony, Microsoft, Best Buy, UPS, Bank of America, PayPal and First Union Bank are among some of the recent brands that have been spoofed.

Spoofed e-mails typically contain requests to confirm some of your personal information. For instance, they may ask for you to enter your name, address, phone number, passwords, Social Security number and/or credit card numbers to verify their records.

Because these e-mails appear to be legitimate, many people give up some of their personal information. This information is then used to feed an estimated $1 Billion per year identity theft industry

What to Do

If an e-mail offer looks too good to be true, it probably is. If a vendor is requesting you verify information, contact them directly, through means other than replying to the e-mail. Finally, report the crooks to the FBI's Internet Fraud Complaint Center

See Also

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