Privacy, Security & Virus Information
How do I report email scams?
It's a common question, how do I report email scams, and the best advice is to either send them to your internet service provider (ISP), or to one of a number of web-sites that collect such emails and try and do something about them, mainly by notifying the authorities.
But such is the current sense of mistrust in cyber space at the moment, ensure that the site your are sending examples to is legitimate and safe. It may be worth asking around, or asking your ISP for details of such sites.
Firstly though, make sure you are protected. Don't surf, or accept emails without good anti-virus software. And unless you know who an email is from, don't open any attachment.
Attachments from scam emails often contain a hideous thing called Malware. You won't know it's Malware of course; it will be labelled something innocuous and while you're enjoying maybe a witty message sent with the email, or looking at a salacious picture of a misbehaving celebrity, the Malware will act as a Trojan Horse and bury itself deep within your computer files.
And this is no joke; just like Sc-Fi films that have worms burying themselves deep in a person's brain and taking that person over (the latest example being on Spider Man 3), the computer Malware Virus will start to take control of your computer. And what it's very good at is communicating with the 'mother ship'; in effect, its creator, and when activated, its favourite past time will be to send your personal information - especially your bank details - to criminals who will try to steal your identity and maybe drain your bank account without you even being aware of their existence, until you get a call from your bank.
Scammers are very creative people, so be aware that the con is constantly changing its approach, but each attempt is basically the same, to extract from you information, or monies.
So when you get a dubious email - and you'll get lots in the course of a week - you should place it in a spam folder and then either 'Google' the basic details (to find out what other people think of it) and if worthy of someone's attention (say maybe it has a new, novel approach), send it to your ISP, or appropriate web-site.
You can either forward the email in its entirety, or read how the web-site you've chosen would like the email sent. Most have automated systems which cope with incoming emails in a certain way, so it's always best to check.
Fingers crossed, one day everyone will become as suspicious as you and then, maybe, cyber space might rid itself of the time-wasting and aggressive spam emails.