Six Examples of Scam Emails

1) Verify your account before it's closed.

These are almost NEVER real. If the email contains urgency, asks for personal details, has bad spelling/grammar or is addressed to Dear User or similar, you know it's a scam. Delete these immediately without clicking any links.

2)A large sum of money is due to you.

These are NEVER real. Honestly, why would a person you've never heard of want to give you a vast sum of money? These take the form of an email saying you are the beneficiary of a will, a compensation, or from somebody who needs to transfer some money to your account. Delete these immediately without clicking any links.

3) You've won something!

Surely you're not that gullible, especially if you never entered the completion in the first place?!

These often take the form of news that you've won a lottery or sweepstake and they need you to call a certain number (which will cost you a fortune if you do) or they need your personal details. Delete these immediately without clicking any links.

4) A sudden emergency

There's a lot of these emails doing the rounds recently. They take the form of an email, usually from somebody you know (because your email address has been scraped from your friends infected computer) saying that they are in trouble, have been mugged or have lost all their money and would like you to wire transfer some money to them to help them home. You can spot these are bogus by the very fact that you probably know if your friend is abroad or not, but more importantly by the language the email uses, not tallying with the type of language your friend uses. You can always call your friend and check! Delete these immediately without clicking any links.

5) The Disaster Fund

Whenever there's a major global disaster like an earthquake or famine, scammers will send out emails pretending to be from charities. They will ask you to click a link to make a donation. Don't do it, charities will never cold email random people asking for money. If you're subscribed to a charity's mailing list, then they might send you information, but these emails will always address you by name, and you'll know that you support that charity. Be suspicious, always.

6) The Chain Email - 'If you don't send this on to your friends something bad will happen'

Any email that asks you to forward it to a number of others is always bogus. Even if it pretends to alert you to some terrible scam.

These often take the form of free services or products from major vendors, free discount vouchers, free phones etc., or are medical appeals for sick children, petitions or news of an impending computer virus. Don't EVER forward these emails. Firstly go to and search for the email you've received. You'll almost always find it here. Secondly, delete the email without interacting with it.

We hope this page has been useful. If so, please please let your friends and family know (but not by mass email asking them to forward to all their friends!)

Posted on April 17, 2010 .