Spams, shams and scams! We all get them in our inboxes. However, there are always spam emails that are more devious than the average 'parasite' emails looking to sell you marketing or SEO services, and we feel everyone should be aware of these emails, and how to recognise them before it’s too late.

At DotGo, we feel it is our duty to alert our customers, and indeed anyone who reads our blog, of the current scam email trends and how to spot and avoid being caught out.

Our clients can rest assured knowing that we continually monitor email traffic and block suspicious addresses.

 

Who's the sender?

Before reading an email, it is always prudent to check the email address of the sender, if it is from an official address, and if it matches the content of the email itself. You can be sure a company such as PayPal or Amazon doesn't use a Yahoo or Hotmail email address - and it is always best practice to Google any email addresses you are not sure about. 

Of course, there are sophisticated ways to 'spoof' an email address to make it look official. If you are unsure, just leave it alone. If it is relating to something important such as account security or online banking, contact the company in question using the proper channels - do not reply to the suspicious email!

 

Never click links or download unknown attachments

I can't stress this enough, so I will say it again. Never click links in suspicious emails and never download attachments from unknown senders. You will be opening the door and welcoming a whole host of very damaging viruses known as Trojan Horses - these can include 'key loggers', smart viruses that record and send the key strokes your enter into your device... passwords, email addresses, personal information.

Your best defence against these threats is to just never open in the first place, but it is good practice to ensure that all of your business and personal computers have a decent anti-virus installed. We recommend Bitdefender.

 

Image Copyright Phishing Scam

There are a vast range of email scams that are sent to businesses of all size around the world.

A more serious email looks like this, claiming to be a legal notice informing you that you have copyrighted material on your website.

Hello, Your website or a website that your company hosts is infringing on a copyright protected images owned by our company (mailchimp Inc.). Check out this official document with the URLs to our images you utilized at www.dustycorners.co.uk and our earlier publications to find the evidence of our copyrights. Download it now and check this out for yourself: (link to Google APIs store, which downloads harmful programs). I believe that you willfully infringed our rights under 17 USC Sec. 101 et seq. and could be liable for statutory damage of up to $130,000 as set-forth in Sec. 504(c)(2) of the Digital millennium copyright act (DMCA) therein.

However, the link within the email, instead of leading to the relevant images that it says you have copied, links to a Trojan virus download page, which can be absolutely fatal for your computer or phone. While image copyright claims should be taken seriously and investigated, never click a link directly from an unsolicited source. 

 

Your mailbox is almost full!

This is a sneaky email, pretending to be from your email server. It will say that your email inbox is either full or almost full, and provide a link to increase your email capacity or grant you access to your unread emails.

Attention:
Your email quota has reached 98% and will soon exceed its limit. Follow the URL below to upgrade your quota to 25GB for free to avoid loss of email data. [Link]
You are using the old and outdated version of the dotgo.uk mailbox. 6 new voice messages are waiting in the new mailbox. Kindly use the button below to request and migrate the newest version of the webmail (version 2.4.2022) and retrieve received voice messages (6). [link]

Needless to say, these links will lead to a download for malware or viruses, and if your inbox is nearly full, you can delete the oldest emails manually, without needing a link or extension.

 

'Sextortion’ Blackmail

Many people may have received emails claiming to have hacked into the user’s computer and recorded them viewing adult material. These sinister emails will then threaten to distribute these recordings to friends and family, if they aren’t sent a certain amount in Bitcoins. They will often claim to know passwords (leaked passwords can often be purchased in the black market in bulk), and that they are watching your every move via your webcam or keyboard tracker.

Thankfully they will have no such recording, and all you have to do is move the email to the junk folder. If they mention a password that you still use, change every place where that password exists as quickly as possible.

Unfortunately these scams surged during the pandemic, but thankfully, other than a password and an email address, usually whoever sent the email has no other information, and they can be ignored safely.

 

We’ve spotted an error in your website!

Every website owner receives spam emails from time to time from website building companies or agencies, claiming they can help you get to number 1 on Google with a simple trick or a few error corrections.

Hello, How are you? Hope you are fine. I have been checking your website quite often. It has seen that the main keywords are still not in the top 10 positions in Google Search. You know things about working; I mean the procedure of working has changed a lot. So I would like to have opportunity to work for you and this time we will bring the keywords to the top 10 spots with guaranteed period. ..

Here at DotGO, we recently developed a new email filter system, allowing us to stamp out this kind of spam email from parasite companies using free Google tools to try and sell you their own services. Although these emails may not be malicious, they are often disingenuous and can be ignored.

 

How to email the right way

The worst aspect about all these emails is that it discredits emails you yourself may wish to send to your customers. How can you market your products or business without being accused of sending spam?

Never send mass mails if possible, as this can result in your email account being blacklisted. If you invest in a mailing system like Mailchimp or a CRM system, you can send emails more efficiently. Always keep your email passwords secure, so that you can avoid it being hijacked and used for spam by a third party, which would be a disaster for any small business.

 

The best approach is to make each email unique, informative, and meaningful, so your customers are rewarded for reading your emails. We have composed a blog article on How to Write the Perfect Email here.

 

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