Just like you receive junk mail in your mailbox at home, you’ll find yourself receiving a lot of spam in your email account. Generally speaking, the longer you have had an active account, the more spam you will receive at that account (since it has had more time to get on lists of email addresses). If the email account in question is your CC email, then you are in luck! Colorado College has a highly effective spam / virus filter called FOPE (Microsoft Forefront Online Portection for Exchange) – anyone with a CC account is automatically signed up for this feature free of charge. Although it may occasionally (though quite rarely, in my experience) block legitimate emails, it is very effective in blocking spam messages. You can also block and allow specific email addresses, which gives you more control over what should and should not be blocked.
If the email account in question is not your CC email, then your best bet is to check it through an email program such as Thunderbird – these programs usually have some spam filtering capabilities. See the help menu in the application for more information about how to set up a filter.
Recent E-mail Scams
To find the most recent, reported e-mail scams, go to MillerSmiles.co.uk
Tips for protecting yourself from e-mail scams
Most junk e-mail is more or less harmless, it’s just irritating. However, with the advent of online banking / bill paying, etc. there has been a marked increase in the number of “phishing” scams that go out.
Some of these, such as the common letter from a supposed member of a wealthy Nigerian family asking you to hold his or her money, are easy to spot and ignore. Others, however, are more shrewdly constructed and can be difficult to distinguish from legitimate e-mail. Here are a few rules of thumb to follow in order to protect yourself:
- If you receive a spam e-mail with an “ unsubscribe me” link at the bottom, do NOT click it — that will only show the spammers that they have found a valid e-mail address. Instead, simply delete the message and mark the email as spam.
- A legitimate institution will NEVER ask for your password or confirmation of your personal information. Any message that does is a scam (we recommend calling your institution on the phone to double check if you even suspect a message of being a scam).
- If you see spelling or grammar mistakes in an official-looking message, there’s a good chance it’s a scam
- Never click a link in an e-mail unless you absolutely trust the source. If the email seems to be from an institution with which you do business and is providing you with a quick link to view your bill, we recommend you simply access their website and log in manually instead of clicking the link.
A good first place to check to see if an email you’ve received is a scam is the MillerSmiles.co.uk website feed (above).