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Email marketing fraud, or more accurately email fraud, is a con game that has been in existence since email was popular. Like all types of fraud the idea is to basically con a mail recipient to part with money or the access to money and then wipe that account clean before the recipient realizes and does something about it. The biggest problem when it comes to internet fraud is that the fraudsters are usually based in another geography that sometimes does not even have mature internet laws against fraud; thereby, rendering the crime unprosecutable and the fraudster free to continue the con. Some of the most famous frauds that have made headlines include the Nigerian frauds and Russian attacks on the credit card users of most banks. There are different categories of fraud that you need to take a note of are listed here.
Spoofing. This is a benign type of fraud that intends to just con the user into opening a mail but since the mechanism that is used is deceit, this technically comes under the categorization or fraud. Spoofing works by altering the senders name and return address in such a way that the true spammer identity is never revealed. Even more sinister is spoofing using names that are familiar to the mail recipient. This occurs due to a worm existing on a computer due to which the address book of the familiar person is sent to a spammers address.
Phishing. This is a type of fraud that most people are quite familiar with and is the cause of much worry. Curiously, this is a leading cause for most people to not take email marketing seriously enough. In this fraud, a mail is sent to a recipient stating that there has been some kind of fraudulent activity in the recipients bank account or credit and that the recipient will then be asked to login to his or her account as a security measure. There would be a link in the email that is of a site that is a mirror image of the banking site and once the user logs in, the recipients login details belong to the fraudster.
Fraudulent offers. This type of fraud is ingenious in its simplicity. Here a marketing offer that “you can’t refuse” is sent to the recipient. Surely enough, the recipient will try and buy the product. Unfortunately, the product will never come from the email marketing website and since a credit card has been used, the recipients bank account will be wiped clean.
Requests for help. This is one of the oldest tricks in the book and is an online version of more popular fraud in which a con artist will ask the recipient to transact some money on behalf of a wealthy person in some kind of a mess. The recipient is usually promised some major reward for the help provided. Of course, one can imagine what happens once the money is sent. Nigerian email fraud comes under this categorization.