Do not reply to spam e-mails!

There are a few ways scammers use them to steal your info.

No matter your email service, spam emails might still make their way into your inbox. Sometimes, these emails set off alarm bells—but other messages from scammers are trickier to spot. There are a few possible consequences if you respond to, click on, or engage with spam emails.

What happens when you respond to spam emails depends entirely on the kind of spam email.  Replying to spam emails mostly confirms that your email is active, making you a target for future campaigns or scams. There usually isn’t a direct response from scammers.

In some cases, the spam links to a very convincing-looking copycat website. If you follow the link, anything you fill in on that website—usernames and passwords, personal information, credit card details, and transaction numbers—goes right back to the scammer.

Another possibility is that the link or an attachment in a spam email will download a virus or spyware onto your computer. This download can record all your typing and send your information to the hacker. If you download the software, the scammers could also find and send emails to even more victims and attack websites on the internet, in addition to stealing your info.

If you want to avoid these scams, watch out for fake invoices and UPS or FedEx delivery notifications. Beware of emails prompting you to download or install anything, login, and change your credentials, as well as emails saying you’ve won something like a family inheritance. Scammers tend to use phrases that add urgency to trick people. So they might say you already have a computer virus, need to update your browser ASAP, or that your account is about to close. If you’re still unsure after looking at the body of the email, analyze link spelling since even one or two “off” letters might mean the email isn’t legit.

It’s always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to your personal information. We recommend not reusing passwords and downloading and/or updating your antivirus app/program.