Email spam may not be the first choice of hackers for making money, but there are plenty of online criminals who still use email to fool users into installing malware on their computers or revealing sensitive information.
This week, two new email spam warnings have been issued following reports that consumers have received emails that have aroused their suspicions. When checking the authenticity of the emails received, they discovered they were scams. The warnings were issued by the Better Business Bureau (BBB) in an effort to prevent the scams from claiming victims.
The latest email spam campaigns differ from each other, but use tried and tested techniques which have proven to be highly effective in the past.
Jury Duty Scam Email Discovered
Trust in authority figures is being exploited in a new email spam campaign in which users are urged to take action as a result of missing jury duty. A similar email is doing the rounds warning recipients of an impending court case. Should the recipient of the email ignore the request, the case will be heard in their absence and they will not be allowed to mount a defense.
The emails shock recipients into taking rapid action such as clicking a link or opening an email attachment. These two emails are clever in the fact they warn users of the need to respond to a judge or turn up in court, yet the crucial information needed to do so is not supplied in the email body.
Any email recipient believing the email is genuine is likely to open the attachment or click a link to find out which court needs to be visited. By doing so they are guaranteed to have their computer, laptop or mobile device infected with malware.
The BBB was alerted to the scams and issued a warning advising recipients of these emails to delete them immediately. Advice provided saying the U.S. Courts would not contact individuals about jury duty by email. Letters are mailed or telephone calls are made in this regard.
Church Leaders Warned not to Fall for Money Transfer Email Spam Campaigns
The second scam was recently reported by the finance director of Grace Bible Church, who received a request via email to transfer funds to a senior pastor. In this case, the email appeared to be official, having been sent from the senior pastor’s email account.
It is a good security practice to always check the authenticity of an email that requests a transfer of funds. In this case all it took was a quick phone call to the pastor in question to reveal that the request was bogus.
If it is not possible to contact the individual, deleting the email would be the best next course of action. If the request is genuine, the individual in question is likely to make contact again. Spammers tend to send these campaigns randomly. A second request is unlikely to be received if the first is ignored.
The Fight Against Email Spam is Getting Easier
Spam email campaigns are still an effective method of malware delivery. Social media posts and infected websites may now be the preferred method of infection, but users must still be wary about opening attachments or visiting links sent from people they do not know.
Awareness of the tell-tale signs of an email scam has improved in recent years. So has security software used to detect phishing campaigns. SpamTitan Technologies is one such company that provides a highly effective spam filtering solution. It boasts an exceptionally low false positive rate and catches over 99.98% of all spam emails.
Part of the reason why SpamTitan’s Award Winning Anti-Spam solution is so effective at catching email spam is in part due to the power of the AV engines used. Instead of using one class-leading AV engine, it uses two: Kaspersky Labs and Clam Anti-Virus.
By installing this anti-spam solution, malicious emails used to phish for sensitive information can be blocked before they are delivered to an email inbox. Businesses looking to reduce the risk of end users infecting their desktop computers, laptops and portable devices with malware and viruses, will find SpamTitan’s Anti-Spam solutions for the enterprise highly cost-effective. Rather than purchasing a package that offers protection for far more IP addresses than are required, IT professionals can purchase a license that covers end users without wastage.