Spam emails are unsolicited communication received from a legitimate business or a cybercriminal. Spam emails are generally sent in bulk to a list of email service users who have not requested or subscribed to receive any communication from the sender's domain.
There are different types of email content used by spammers. Not all spam emails are sent by cybercriminals, but it is never safe to take any action if the email received is from an unknown source.
- Email spoofing: A spoofed email is spam that is sent to deceive the recipient by forging the sender's identity.
- Malware threat: This type of spam email is an attempt to trick the recipient into taking an action that can lead to data/privacy compromise or hacked system. This type of email is a warning against a malware/virus threat and ends with a call to action to download an attached file.
- Promotional offers: Many reputed organizations send promotional offer spam with the intention of generating more leads for their business or creating brand awareness. Cybercriminals see this as an opportunity to lure in recipients by offering discount coupons and other such offers.
- Financial frauds: Common financial fraud emails ask the recipients for their credit/debit card numbers and other personal details that can be used to extract money or hack into their financial records.
- Prize scams: Recipients of such email fall for the reward amount or other prizes mentioned in the email contents and follow the steps to claim their prize. These victims end up losing thousands of dollars or giving personal data to spammers.