It you are like me, you probably are receiving a lot of emails that you don’t wish to read and which merely clutter your inbox. An easy way to reduce the amount of emails you receive is to merely click on the Unsubscribe tab in newsletters and other communications sent to you by companies with which you have done business and doing so is safe to do. However, when you receive an email from a company or some other entity that you have not done business with or agreed to have send you material, clicking on the unsubscribe tab they provide could lead to a lot of problems. A long, long time ago in a galaxy far away (Yes, a Star Wars reference) spammers would send you unsolicited communications and provide an unsubscribe tab in an effort to get you to confirm that yours was a legitimate email address. They would then sell your email address to other spammers and your unwanted emails would dramatically increase. Now, however, the problems that you can get into by clicking on an unsubscribe tab sent by a cybercriminal can be much worse. If the unsubscribe tab takes you to a website to provide information in order to unsubscribe you may unwittingly be providing the cybercriminal with a variety of information that he or she can use to make you a victim of many scams. Information such as your location, what typeof browser you are using and the operating system of your computer or other electronic device can be used by cyberiminals to fashion spear phishing emails to lure you into clicking on links and downloading a wide variety of malware such as ransomware or keystroke logging malware that can lead to your becoming a victim of identity theft. Even worse, in some instances, merely clicking on the link to unsubscribe may itself download malware on to your computer, tablet or phone.
Remember my motto, “trust me, you can’t trust anyone.” While it is safe to click on the “unsubscribe” tab in a newsletter or other communication sent to you by a legitimate company you have done business with, the risk of clicking on a link to unsubscribe in the email of someone or some company with which you are not familiar is too great. Fortunately, there is an easy way to rid yourself of these unwanted emails. Instead of clicking on the link to unsubscribe, mark the message as spam in your email program. This will cause future messages from the same sender being automatically sent to your spam folder.
For those of you receiving the Scam of the day through an email, I just want to remind you that if you want to see the ever increasing list of Coronavirus scams go to the first page of the http://www.scamicide.com website and click on the tab at the top of the page that indicates “Coronavirus Scams.” Scamicide was recently cited by the New York Times as one of three top sources for information about Coronavirus related scams.
If you are not a subscriber to Scamicide.com and would like to receive daily emails with the Scam of the day, all you need to do is to go to the bottom of the initial page of http://www.scamicide.com and click on the tab that states “Sign up for this blog.”