6 Ways Your Email Address Can Be Exploited by Scammers

MakeUseOf | 8/16/2019 | Simon Batt
AavyAavy (Posted by) Level 4
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It may seem odd at first, but an email account is a goldmine for scammers. A hacker can do more than get their hands on your coveted chicken casserole recipe; it can cause damage to your identity and finances.

So, why do scammers want your email account, and what can you do if they crack your password?

Scammer - Do - My - Email - Address

What Can a Scammer Do With My Email Address?

Scammers typically get into an email address either via brute force or through a database leak. Once they’re in, they can perform several actions with the email account.

Knowledge - Email - Someone - Trick - Emails

It’s common knowledge that you should never trust an email that isn’t from someone you trust. As such, the old trick of emails claiming you won $4 million in a lottery you never entered doesn’t trick people as easily anymore.

This advice is a double-edged sword, however. While it makes us more critical of emails sent from a stranger, it also makes us more trusting of emails sent by people we know and love.

Scammers - Weakness - Accounts - Victims - Friends

Scammers use this weakness by hacking the accounts of victims, then contacting their friends or family. If the scammer is good at impersonating people, they can trick the victim’s contacts into believing it’s them.

From this point, the scammer can ask the victim to do whatever they please. They may claim that they’re in some financial trouble, asking the friends to wire some money to the hacker. They could send a link to a malicious program and claim it’s a video of the friend doing something embarrassing.

Idea - Caution - Friend - Email - Doubt

As such, it’s a good idea to exercise caution, even if it’s supposedly your good friend sending you an email. If in doubt, try to contact them over the phone to see if their request is legitimate.

If you sign up to a website with sub-par security practices, they’ll send you an email confirming...
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