Email Rip-offs, Scams and Spams and what to do about them.
Have you opened your e-mail program only to spend hours getting rid of all the stupid things people you don’t know send you.
Have you read things like, I am so and so from far off country and have billions just waiting to end up in your bank account.
More and more, people have to spend good money to filter out all the e-mail junk, spam and attempts to take your money, bank account and identity information from you.
Well, enough is enough. We do not have to take it anymore. We can block it. We can report it. We can say no to fraud.
Today people spend valuable time and energy going through their e-mail and having to sift through what is legitimate and what is not. We have to either find free programs to stop the junk and spam mail or pay for one to do it for us.
Some of the best programs can be tried for trial periods to see if you like them. I would suggest going to CNET.com and Download.com to see what they suggest for the best in e-mail protection. They have some programs for free but there are not many out there. You should find one that you like and can use for a trial period to see if it is right for you.
I have tried a few free ones and like the one from Secretmaker.com. All-in-one Secretmaker has many features and uses baysean logic to fight spam. I don’t know what that is but it works for my junk spam. The program has a few steps to set up but once done it is easy to use. It learns what is spam quickly and uses your current list of friends to start it’s learning which mail you want and don’t want.
It sets up folders in your inbox and sorts each email you receive into your inbox or one of four folders. The inbox is for mail that you have verified is ones you want. The other four are for ones the program is not sure of or is spam in varying degrees.
All you have to do is check the folders every so often and teach the program what ones are spam. For the ones that are definitely spam you can let them pile up and make sure they are later, when you have more time. This way you make sure that all mail you receive is not spam but you do not clog the ones you are sure about into one folder.
It has about a dozen other features such as browser cleaner and tracker eraser among others. All the features are free and you can read about them all including the setup at their website.
One I have not tried uses a novel way to stop spammers. Choicemail Free uses a challenge response method to stop spammers from getting into your inbox.
It sends an email to whoever sends you one asking if they are a legitimate sender. It only does this once. Then it knows when that person sends one back that they are legitimate because they answered back when the program asked them to. Most spammers or fraudulent people sending you e-mail will not let you reply to their e-mail address as it appears on your e-mail program to hide their identity.
Other programs are rated by download.com and have all the information for you about their programs and the pros and cons of each. I would suggest trying each program before buying it and see how you like it before purchasing.
Other ways you can protect yourself is using your e-mail programs features that are built in.
Using the common e-mail programs like Microsoft’s Outlook Express you can block the sender from sending you more e-mails. Although this works for some annoying people who keep sending you the same mail, it usually does not work for the ones who are really trying to rip you off.
In Outlook Express, when you have the e-mail open, go to the message drop down box in the toolbar at the top and click on block sender. This will block that e-mail address from sending you any e-mails in the future. If you want to create rules for your email you can use this to stop certain e-mails from entering your inbox, go directly to your delete box or be blocked before coming into your computer.
You should check out your help section of the mail program you are using to do this.
You can also use google to find out more on this topic. Type in “help using” and then your e-mail program such as “Outlook Express”. This will bring up various web sites that can help you set up and use your specific program and ways to block certain e-mails.
These programs use things like wildcards that are the * symbol with some rules. I highly recommend this for some types of rules. Such as this, I kept getting annoying mail from one specific company. Sir Sydney even said it valued my privacy but that is a lot of bologna. To block them I tried using Outlook Express’s block sender, to no avail. I found out why.
People sending you annoying and unwanted e-mail do things like change their e-mail address by one letter or number in the first part of the address to make their address different, and unrecognized by simple email blocking programs.
Such as this, if you send an email using the address firstname.lastname@example.org and change the number after hello, you can still get the mail at your address. You just need to go into your computers network settings and set it up to accept mail from this account. You also have to own the domain name, the stuff after the @ to do this. That means it will cost you some money to do this sort of thing.
In Outlook Express you can use wildcards to stop getting e-mails from certain senders. In the message drop down menu of the e-mail you can click on create rule from message. That opens a box with three areas on it. Conditions for your rule, actions for the rule and description. It uses very simple language to do whatever it is you want.
I have done things like denying my server from downloading mail from *@sirsydney.* . This tells my server never to allow mail with any words or letters before the @ from sir sydney.
You can check with your programs help section or google for more help on this. Even Cnet.com has ways at their site or on their forum that will get you started on banning and not allowing these types of e-mail into your inbox. Search under e-mail help and then go to more feature stories. This will bring up a variety of stories you can look at to help.
People that are trying to get information from you will also send you faked site e-mails and pretend they are the company. They will ask you for information, saying someone tried to defraud you and you need to verify your account.
I have received e-mails from “Microsoft”, “e-bay” and “paypal” along with several “Banks” trying to say they have caught someone using my name and account number and they need to verify my information for me to keep using their site.
These are usually frauds. If these companies really have been getting fraudulent uses from your name and account they will not be asking you for your account information. You should not respond to these e-mails. What you should do is go to that site through your usual channel.
Do not use any links from the e-mail. These will lead you to the fake website created for you to send your information to a person who will steal from you.
I have mine all saved on my favorites in my browser. I go to the site through the normal link I have saved by going to the site. I do not use e-mail links. This is important. You should not use the e-mail links at all. Use the one you type in on your browser or your saved favorite, bookmark or whatever your browser calls it.
When you get to the site you should log in using your usual method. Go to their security or help section and see if they have any messages or notes about this. On sites such as E-bay they have a messages section on your page where they would tell you if anything was going on with your account.
On PayPal they would tell you right when you sign in if they wanted to tell you anything important.
Both PayPal and Ebay have told me they will NEVER want information such as a login or user name or the password. You should never give out this information to anyone.
My bank and PayPAl send out information letters and do not want me to ever give out information to them or anyone else. You should never have to give anyone information about your accounts, such as account numbers, user names and passwords.
You should find out from the web sites like Ebay and PayPal if they want the e-mail or what they would like to do about the possible fraud. Usually they will tell you to ignore it and delete it. This is a case of too much too many.
Large sites such as Ebay are swamped with fraud cases and only have so many resources to try and stop them. They will do their best to help you and will give you answers to your questions but may not have the time or people to investigate every e-mail people receive.
In all cases, you can always rely on your instinct and the phone. Go to the website of the company and find a customer service phone number if you think your account is in jeopardy. They will tell you what they are doing and will ask you for no account information such as numbers or passwords. They will only tell you if they are stopping the account under your name and if you should go somewhere on the web about the e-mail you received. They will let you know what they want to do.
Banks that advertise on the internet and want you to transfer money or account information over the internet should also not be trusted. You should be using a local bank and get their web site information from them. Then go online to use their internet services.
When you receive e-mails about contests or money that people want you to get, think again. I have received many e-mails about some lawyer or international banker or foreign diplomat who is trying to get money into the United States and needs my help.
That is what the International Bank is for, not little ol’ me. I find this kind of e-mail odd. Big powerful bankers or lawyers are asking my help to smuggle money into the country and all they want me to do is give them my account information to give me my share.
If I give my information, I will lose my money along the way. They will drain my account and use my information to get other credit accounts in my name and put me into trouble.
This is a sad and frustrating thing to have happen. I understand how people can fall for some of this and feel very sorry for them.
Another thing that I have seen is I have won a prize, contest or winning and only need to pay a fee or the taxes in advance to get my money. This is another way for them to get what they want before you get what you would like to have but will never see.
First if you give them your credit card account information or send them a check they will use that information to get other credit cards in your name and or drain your checking account.
If you have entered a contest and need to pay taxes on the winnings, you can do so through a local banker, lawyer or tax office. You do not need to send them money to get money.
If you get an e-mail, and it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. If it sounds like you should worry about your account with a website, company or financial institute, call them directly using a phone number you trust.
Banks, Microsoft, E-bay and any other legitimate websites and companies have a way to report fraud to them. If their name is used in an e-mail and they did not send it, they may be able to prosecute those that sent it.
They will be glad to help you with information for stopping this type of fraud and will let you know what you need to do about any e-mail that has their name on it. Go to their help section and look for security or fraud for answers. They will be glad to answer questions you have.
If you go to google and type in “report fraud” and the name of the company whose name appears on any e-mail you receive, you should get a place to talk to someone who will give you answers for anything suspicious in an e-mail you receive.
You can report spam, fraud, scams and other things like this by just searching for places to do so. If you type in spam in google you will see things like laws fraud and ways to fight it.
Try one site for spam abuse, http://spam.abuse.net/. This site informs and educates you about spam and what you can do to prevent and fight it.
You can do the same for fraud, scams and such. Search google and look for places to report them if you want to strike back at the ones trying to rip you off.
The most important things you need to remember when you receive e-mails and you don’t know what to do about it. Go to the real source. Do not use links in the e-mail, use your usual web site for that company and ask them about it.
Do not give out any information to anyone who is e-mailing you for whatever reason. User names, passwords, credit and bank account information are all things that you alone are in control of and do not under any circumstances need to give out to anyone.
Do not give anyone account information over the internet for any reason. Only shop at trusted sites using your credit cards. Even better, sign up for PayPal, they are a trusted accounting company that transfers money for you and keeps your information secure. They will be glad to answer any questions you have for them.
If the e-mail sounds too good to be true, get rich quick, with no money down, it is. There is a saying from a favorite author of mine. TANSTAAFL. There Ain’t No Such Thing AS A Free Lunch. There are no ways to get free money, except the lottery. But the chances of them calling you are zero.