Have you ever received those emails that spun a story about a lawyer or a rich person needing your help, in the form of transferring some money to you so that they could execute a will on your behalf? It sounds far-fetched, but the fact is thousands of people have unwittingly fallen for scams like this. Sadly, email scams had leveled up to become traps for email identity theft scam. Some emails lead individuals to portals that masquerade as websites they can trust, only to capture their details, and turn them into victims of ID theft, or worse, clean out a victim's financial accounts.

Here are some computer skills for email scam identity theft protection:

Never click links from sources you don't trust.

This is a general web safety rule, and you should follow it for your email address. Some of these links will lead you to websites that masquerade as the usual financial services that you trust: electronic money transfer solution, a bank with online services, or even links supposedly to your email account with another company, and other websites that would normally require more security. Some links will lead to malware sites. The point is, if your email service (especially Gmail) has labeled it as SPAM, it is better not touch it. If it has skipped Gmail's SPAM filter and has landed in your inbox, don't click links if the email is not from somebody you know. If it's from somebody you know, it will have a distinct, spam my format: just a link, or some gibberish and a link. Don't click the link, even if the email came from a friend's email address. His account could have been hacked.

Always check the URL in the Address Bar.

To see if the address is exactly from the website it claims to be. During the Yahoo! Mail hacking epidemic, a lot of Yahoo! users received an email that claimed to be from Yahoo, but actually led to a website with a TLD (Top-Level Domain, i.e. ".com," ".net," ".de") leading to a European country. The email content and header stated that the user had to change his account details as soon as possible, and provided a form to do exactly that. However, if the user bothered to check and see that it was from another domain, he would then realize that he just gave access to some unknown phishing expert.

There's a method to the madness.

 To spot obvious spam, scam and phishing emails, take note of odd, robotic subject lines, spelling errors, and if you use a service like Gmail, it will already identify those emails and toss them to your SPAM folder. Check out how your SPAM emails look like and you'll eventually learn how to spot spam, fraud and phishing mails.

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