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Check dates and times on any email that you are unsure of. These companies know that many email programs will sort inbox by earliest mail sent. As a result, they place false send dates and times on their Spam hoping that you will open them first.
The worst has to be ones that seem to come from companies that you know and trust. They may claim to be from your internet service provider in subject line or have a similar address to that company’s name. It may look like it is from accounts payable department of a major law firm.
Spammers count on your curiosity and hope that you will respond. Even if you don’t buy anything, they now know that your email address is connected to a live person and, if nothing else, can sell that address to someone else.
Read To and From fields in any questionable email that you receive. If To field is empty or filled with an anonymous address, then you have Spam. An anonymous address is typically something like firstname.lastname@example.org.
An address from someone that you do not know through an account at hotmail, yahoo, or msn is probably Spam. These are anonymous, easy to get accounts that spammers use and then discard when they are done. By time Service Provider has been made aware that spam is originating from these accounts, spammer is gone.
Scrambled, random addresses (X12YT853@yahoo.com) from accounts like these are definitely not to be trusted regardless of content.
Finally, if email contains a story in which you are asked to do anything to help anyone, check story out online. There are several great websites like truthorfiction.com that will help you sort through any potential scams or hoaxes perpetuated through email.
These stories can range from silly pranks to dangerous fraud schemes and may need to be reported to proper authorities before someone, like you, finds their bank account drained.
Lewis Leake is the webmaster of eMailCash.com. There you will find articles, resources, books and product reviews on eMail Marketing Strategies and Tactics. You will also find a number of articles on SPAM and how to prevent it. Get Your FREE Mini-Report Spam and It's Consequences!