Fraudulent email

You probably get a lot of email. Most of what you get is probably reputable, but some can be scams. Fraudulent email can take many shapes. These can be messages that look to be from your friends or family, but are actually sent by someone you don’t know or trust. These messages may even be sent over social networks!

The email may be "spoofed” or sent from email accounts that were taken over by scammers. When email accounts are taken over, a friend or family member’s email password is in the hands of a scammer, and the scammer uses that email account to contact people in the victims address book. They might send links for you to click on, spam for you to read, or pretend to be a person in need.

The scammer could pretend to be in trouble, ask for money to repair a broken down car, or to get out of jail in a foreign country. You might even trust this email because it appears to be legitimate!

Tip: Don’t use your personal accounts from a shared computer, like the library or a friend’s house. You don’t know what malware may be on the computer or how it’s being monitored. You could end up with your banking or email password in someone else’s hands.

Approach email with suspicion, especially if it seems out of character with the sender. If in doubt, call the sender and confirm what was sent.

Learn more about related threats like phishing , spoofing , and spam by reading other articles in the Security Center.

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