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Unfortunately, malware protection software doesn't help much with many of these types of scams, because they rely on tricking the user, not delivering malicious software.
So, being aware of the common scams can help you avoid them.
Email programs have improved by adding ways of recognizing bogus emails and flagging them before they get to you, but they're not perfect.
A common ruse is an urgent need to "confirm your identity." The message will even offer you a story of how your account has been attacked by hackers to trick you into divulging your confidential information. Check a link's legitimacy by checking that the URL address of the link is sending you to a secure site — you'll know this because the link address will begin with https:// (note the "s" after http). If still in doubt, make a phone call to the financial institution to verify if the email is real.
This is known as the Nigerian scam, and also as the "4-1-9" (which refers to the section of Nigerian Criminal Code that deals with fraud) and the "Advance Fee Scam."In every variation, the scammer is promising obscenely large payments for small unskilled tasks.
This scam, like most scams, is too good to be true, yet people still fall for this money transfer con game.
Internet scams have been around nearly as long as the internet itself, and many of them have roots in scams that existed well before the internet but have been adapted to the new medium.
Scams have become more advanced, more deceptive, and more common, and even venerable scams from the early days still snag people.