What do you do if you have received a suspicious email from a reputable company that you often do business with? Many online users are finding their inboxes packed with strange messages from Ebay, PayPal, their banks, credit cards, and even schools and hospitals. If you are receiving requests for information or further action that you don't feel comfortable with, use the steps outlined below to help sort out the spam.
1. Don't click it, use impressions - Impressions are used to tell the link location of an item without clicking through. A link in the body of a text email may look reputable at first. But if you wanted to see where the link will take you without clicking, just point your cursor over the word and the location will show up at the bottom of your brower window. If you don't see anything at the bottom of your browser window, then your window may not be maximized (opened as large as it can. ) Click the Box in the middle of the three icons at the top right-hand corner of your screen. (There should be one to minimize, open full screen, and close or X). If the link starts with anything other than the source it claims to be, don't click. For example an Ebay buyers warning may say that it is from Ebay, but when you check the impression, it may say that it is from http://sales. site. XX. hpgjs (not an official ebay site. )
2. Don't reply - This is self explanatory. Replying to the message lets the sender know that you are out there, and checking your emails. Since they are randomly spamming millions of emails (not knowing which emails are still in use), replying is an invitation for more trouble. While it is tempting to let them know that you don't appreciate the emails, this will only encourage more activity. If you have a yahoo account or something similar, you can hit the “This is spam" button, and it will send it to the trash and flag the sender as a spammer.
3. Don't unsubscribe - This is for reasons similar to above. If they offer a link to remove you from further mailings, they are wanting to know that you are an active user. Don't take the bait.
The moral to the story is that if you are in doubt, you can do without. If you just can't let the email go without taking some action, call your bank or other institution and verify that the request is bogus. And just remember that they aren't picking on just you. The senders of fraudulent email send out millions of emails a day, it's nothing personal.
Linsey Knerl is a writer and homeschooling mother of three who enjoys parenting and all of life's blessings with her husband in rural Nebraska. Her work can be see at http://www.LinseyBKnerl.com