Email Scams in 2020

Email Scams in 2020


The days of fake lotteries and Nigerian princes are not yet over, but a different type of scam is on the rise.

These new scams take a more aggressive approach to parting victims from their money, and threaten personal or professional embarrassment unless a fee is paid, usually in a cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin or Litecoin. Often, they will claim that they have hacked the victim’s computer and taken sensitive photos, that they will send to the victim’s friends and family if their demands are not met.

To bolster their claim of having hacked your computer, sometimes these scam emails will include one of your passwords, or appear to come from your email address. These are both simple tricks for a scammer, but can reveal real weaknesses in your personal security that you might want to address.

The scammer probably got your password from a website you signed up for that was later hacked, not your personal computer. This is still a problem, especially if you had used that password on any other websites. A password manager such as LastPass or 1Password comes in handy in these situations, as you can use it to work out exactly which one of your accounts was compromised based on the password that the scammer knows.

If the scammer appears to be sending email from your address and it isn’t going straight to your junk folder, you or your email provider might need to set up SPF, DKIM, and DMARC records. These are email authentication systems which allow you to ensure that only the servers you specify can send email from your domain. Most modern spam filters will detect if somebody attempts to send an email with your domain but the wrong server, and will hide the message so you can deal with something more important.

Not sure if you or your employees are vulnerable to this scam? Contact Wireless Communications