Your family inheritance fund of $4.6 million dollars.
Repatriating a fund valued at $8.4 million dollars.
Maany indiiduals taakke antidepressants for 6 monnths to a year or more. Then they get rid off depersison.
Can you tell I took that last one straight from my junk folder? That kind of grammar sure does make me want to learn more! And hey! I even got an email from myself! That’s weird… I don’t remember sending myself a mysterious link…
We are constantly bombarded by spam. Some of it is obvious, like the ones I listed above, but some of it isn’t so obvious. Have you ever received an email from a friend or family member, addressing you by name, but it only contains a curious link? Or maybe what appears to be PayPal emails to tell you that your account is about to be closed. And don’t even get me started on the spam that avoids my spam folder and lands in my inbox, or that important email that ended up in my spam folder instead of my inbox.
How do you deal with it all? James Veitch, a writer and a comedian, decided to do something about it. He likes to message spammers back, and hilarity ensues. It will literally be the best thing you watch all day. It’s only a little over nine minutes long. Go ahead. I’ll wait.
What you can do about the spam in your inbox
If you have the time and the disposition to do what James did, go right ahead (just make sure you send us the transcript), but most of us don’t have that kind of time, especially considering the sheer number of spam emails most of us receive on a daily basis. Fortunately, there are a few tips you can follow to make sure you don’t fall for their dirty tactics.
Don’t click hyperlinks in emails
Never. Ever. Click hyperlinks in emails. I don’t care if you’re addressed by name. Don’t do it.
If you suspect the email is actually from someone you know, ask them before you click on that hyperlink.
Not only should you avoid clicking hyperlinks, always avoid downloading zip files and other documents unless someone tells you explicitly that they’re sending you this information.
Look for security seals and the sender’s email address
Some of the most convincing scam emails come from seemingly trustworthy sources, and there’s nothing worse than learning that your PayPal account is getting shut down. Especially if you’re a lowly old freelance writer like myself who depends on PayPal to get paid. And guys, this actually happened to me. No joke.
I’d never gotten an email like that before, and it simply stated that they needed me to update my information, which seemed like a relatively easy request. So I did. And wouldn’t you know it? There was soon a strange charge to my bank account for over $100 in stickers from Sticker Mule. They seem like a pretty cool business, but I have absolutely no need for $100 worth of stickers.
I got it sorted out, but the moral of the story is to look for a green security seal that accompanies the name of the sender. If PayPal is emailing you, the message will be accompanied by a green security seal. Other trustworthy sources, like online stores and banks, include this seal too.
Looking at the sender’s email is also a good idea. Should an email from PayPal be coming from firstname.lastname@example.org? Nope. It comes from email@example.com. Paypal.com guys. Not Service.com. Duh…
Reduce your spam mail
Did you know you can reduce your spam mail? There are actually quite a few ways to do this. Some are fairly basic, like making sure boxes aren’t checked when you’re shopping online to ensure that they don’t send emails to your inbox. Others are more complicated, like downloading plugins. Learn more about reducing your spam mail here and here.
It’s okay to be lazy. No matter how hard you try, you won’t get rid of all those spam emails because spammers are very creative. As soon as one door into your inbox closes, they find another one to throw wide open. At the end of the day, if you want to save time, ignore all that junk. Just take a peek at your junk folder every now and then to make sure something important didn’t end up in there.
Don’t worry. You’re not alone. We’re all dealing with the same spam issues. It’s just that some of us deal with it better than others. If you can laugh about it like James did, and not fall for their bull like I’ve done, you’ve won against the scammers, as far as I’m concerned.