New technologies lead to new problems. Email scam is one of these problems. The new technology has allowed the less-than-honest people reach a greater number of victims than ever before. In the past, fraudulent scams were limited to phone and traditional mail delivery system. Those methods were time-consuming, required extensive research, and reached limited potential victims. With email, scammers can reach tens of thousands of individuals per email blast. They only need to reach a very small percentage of people they email to be successful.
Many of the email scams present today are recycled scams from the years before the use of email. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC), which regulates communications in the United States, has listed the 12 most common email scams, such as chain letters, phony business opportunities, work-at-home schemes, investment opportunities, free goods, and guaranteed loans. Beware of these types of emails from unknown users or sources, especially if they are marked "urgent" or "immediate action required."
There are some actions you can take to help you avoid becoming an email scam victim. You can filter spam emails through your settings. Most email applications and Web mail services include spam-filtering features, or ways to set your email to detect spam. Regard all unknown email with suspicion, and treat email attachments with caution. Install antivirus software and keep it up to date. Installing firewalls on your personal computer may also be a good idea. By practicing these precautionary methods, you can avoid becoming another victim.