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Moneyandbusiness.ca - Your Ultimate Small Business Guide
How Spam Works
Spam can be described differently, depending on individual experiences and security polices of businesses.
In its most common form, spam is recognized as unwanted email that’s sent to your inbox, trying to nudge the reader to action, most likely, to click on a link, or to open an attachment. Clicking on one of these links will do several things.
·It will confirm to the spammer that the reader’s email is valid. Previously, there were links at the bottom of the spam emails asking readers to “Request Removal” from the email link. This in fact does the opposite.
·Most often, however, the link will direct you to another website, where items such as V!agra are listed for sale. If someone has been duped to actually try and buy the displayed products, then there are several other things that can happen during and after that transaction
oMost commonly, your credit card information will be stolen. The “Buy Now” form is actually a form that collects your information and sends it to the spammer. This information is then sold to thieves involved in Credit Card Scams.
oThe website that the reader has been directed to has embedded in its code spyware and other programs that automatically scan your computer for your personal information. Information such as your name, address, SIN or SSN number, credit card information, and other email addresses. This information will also be sold to Credit Card scammers.
oMost time however, the products that are “purchased” will never be delivered. All the spammers were interested in, was delivered by you during the “purchase transaction,” i.e., your personal information
oSometimes, however, products have been delivered. Fully packaged in sealed bottles as per the original. However, these will be fake pills and substitutes. These pills can be inexpensive vitamins and supplements, or in some cases, dangerous chemicals. There have been reports of people becoming hospitalized after using these fake pills.
·Often, spam emails come with attachments. These attachments are programs that are designed to be installed on your computer while disguised as a simple word , document or program. Its effects are similar to the websites that spammers direct you to. The programs scan your computer and steal your personal information, which are then sold to credit card scammers.
·These programs may serve another purpose. It may hack your computer, and the spammer can actually use your computer to send out thousands of spam emails using your email account. Your computer is now a “Zombie.” This is an actual IT term for a computer hacked and used to send spam emails.
There are many steps and stages to prevent and deal with spam. However, one of the simplest is to use spam filters on your computer, have an up-to-date Security Suite installed, and do not open emails that are not recognized.