Email threat types: Email scamming

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Email scamming is a type of spear-phishing attack designed to steal the identity of the victim or by tricking them into disclosing personal information. Many of these scams include fake invoices, charities, and other schemes meant to lure the victim into sending money to the attacker.

Email scamming accounts for about 39% of all spear-phishing attacks, and there are several types of con-games at work:

  • Tech support scams: A fraudulent company informs you that you have a virus and asks you to hire them to fix it.
  • Foreign money exchange scams: You are offered a large payment to help with a foreign transfer of money, but first you must pay fees or taxes. This is also commonly referred to as a ‘Nigerian' fraud.
  • Charity scams: A national or personal tragedy occurs, and scammers send emails asking for donations to help the victims. The donations go to the criminal, not the victims or any legitimate charity.

The 2019 FBI Internet Crime Report recorded $791 million in reported losses to email scams.

The free Barracuda Email Threat Scanner can help you find email scams and other threats that have already made it to your Office 365 mailboxes.

Email scamming is one of the email threat types examined in our free e-book, 13 Email Threat Types to Know About Right Now. The Barracuda Total Email Protection Bundle offers a complete suite of email protection including API-based inbox defense and user-awareness training.

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