Diamonds in the Spam


 Diamonds in the Spam

In recent years, the practice of sending spam emails has increased at an exponential rate. The FBI and law enforcement agencies have spent $1.8 billion targeting spammers, with a few taking their efforts to the extreme by using elaborate schemes involving diamonds and international crime rings.

This quiz will help you determine if you are likely to be a victim of this type of scam and what steps you can take to avoid becoming one:

Question 1: Have you recently been contacted by someone claiming to be from Microsoft or Apple?

If so, then chances are good that your email address is on a list used by spammers and scammers for target marketing campaigns.

Question 2: Have you been contacted by someone claiming to be from an online service provider, such as eBay or Craigslist?

Spamming emails are often sent from sender addresses that are false to entice people into clicking on the link attached to the email. Many of these spammers have names that mimic legitimate companies or websites.

Question 3: Has someone recently contacted you, telling you they are sent to you by a government agency and want to discuss an upcoming audit?
Despite the claims of being a legitimate government agency, many spamming methods used by spammers use variations of the same message. These messages often claim to be from the IRS and state that illegal activity has been detected and that you must call a phone number immediately. They usually tell the recipient that they have already paid for the taxes or fees, and just need to give up a small portion of this amount to recoup their losses.

Question 4: Have you made purchases from online auction sites such as eBay?
If so, then your email address may have been part of an auction scam. Spammers may purchase winning items from auctions as a way of getting information from individuals who have won items in legitimate auctions. This is done while posing as legitimate buyers in order to gain access to personal information about buyers.

Question 5: Are you in debt? Are you about to file for bankruptcy, or have any other problems?
Spammers often target people with large debts, filing for bankruptcy, or who are struggling financially. These scamsters often send emails from banks and financial institutions that appear to be official looking and offering a way to clear up any debt through a quick payment.

Question 6: Do you send large amounts of money via wire transfer and have had problems getting your money back?
Technically, wire transfers made over the Internet are not regulated by the Federal Trade Commission, so scammers can contact victims directly via email and make fraudulent claims. If the victim knows about the fraud, they may contact their bank and have a wire transfer stopped. If the victim is unaware of the situation, they often either do not file a report with their bank, or they end up losing money to scammers.

Question 7: Have you recently received any threatening or frightening emails?
Scammers often use threatening language, including death threats and other violent message to scare potential victims into sending them money. Many others send threatening emails that appear to be from an official government agency like the FBI All Federal Agencies Task Force or US Treasury Department's Office of Financial Asset Forfeiture.

Question 8: Have you sent money to someone you have never met or made a purchase from a company that has not been verified?
Once scammers get their hands on your information, they are able to collect either via direct payments from your bank account or by having you send cash, gift cards, or other prepaid cards via mail. The scammer may have convinced the victim that there is some outstanding debt and the only way to repay it is to make a payment directly into their bank account.

Question 9: Do you regularly buy and sell goods on online auction sites like eBay? If so, then chances are good that scammers are actively targeting your email address for phishing attempts.

Scammers are often successful because they take advantage of human nature, using common sense and creating a persuasive argument that causes people to believe what they are saying and trust them. This quiz was designed to help you spot multiple red flags that may indicate you are being targeted by a spamming scam. If you answered yes to three or more of these questions, then chances are your email address is currently being targeted by scammers, and there is a good possibility that you have already fallen victim to one of these scams. All it takes is one click for someone to send your personal information off to another website for fraudsters and identity thieves to use.

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