Have you ever been sent an email saying you have a delivery on the way? Did the email ask you to open an attachment holding further details? Were you expecting a delivery? If not, then it’s most likely a scam!
Scam emails are an increasing threat, and if you’re unlucky enough to open the attachment they contain, your computer could be infected with a virus.
Spammers are thinking of more weird and (frankly, not) wonderful ways to infect your computer, so you need to be even more diligent with emails you aren’t expecting.
If you don’t recognise an email address, don’t open the email. If someone claims to have a delivery for you, and you aren’t expecting one, think to yourself: ‘How did they get my email address?’ Why didn’t they just attempt a delivery and leave a trusty old-fashioned ‘Sorry, you were out’ card on your doormat?
Don’t touch that attachment
We recently had an email sent to the Which? Computing Helpdesk from a reader in this exact position. He’d received an email with an attachment he couldn’t open and asked for our help. The thought that it was anything but a legitimate email hadn’t crossed his mind, even though he admitted he wasn’t expecting any deliveries.
After supplying me with the sender’s email address, a quick Google search found that the email was from a domestic courier company in America! Not only that – there were also lots of forum results with people advising others that this particular email was a scam and that it would install a virus if the attachment was opened.
Thankfully, this reader’s spam filter had worked in his favour, stopping him from opening the attachment and leaving his computer safe and virus free.
Don’t get scammed, get savvy
In an ideal world no one would send scam emails and no one would get caught out, but unfortunately, there’s no getting away from them. In today’s world of internet banking and shopping, it’s best to be slightly suspicious when dealing with emails.
The question is whether you think more can be done, either by email providers or ISPs, to stop scam emails from being sent and putting you in a vulnerable position in the first place?