Crime Branch Advisory
The Nigerian Scam
Tricks on evading scams
14 February 2007
The beginning of the new year is
the ideal time to make resolutions which should also include your
Internet habits. Listed below are a number of suggestions that can
help prevent your email address from becoming a target to spammers.
Never respond to spam. If you reply,
even to request removing your e-mail address from the mailing list,
you are confirming that your e-mail address is valid and the spam
has been successfully delivered to your inbox. Lists of confirmed
e-mail addresses are more valuable to spammers than unconfirmed
lists, and are frequently bought and sold by spammers.
Check to see if your e-mail address
is visible to spammers by typing it into a Web search engine. If
your e-mail address is posted to any Web sites or newsgroups, remove
it if possible to help reduce how much spam you receive.·
Disable in-line images, or do not open spam messages. Frequently
spam messages include "Web beacons" enabling the spammer
to determine how many, or which e-mail addresses have received and
opened the message. Most current e-mail programs disable in-line
images by default to prevent this from occurring.
Do not click on the links in spam
messages, including unsubscribe links. These frequently contain
a code that identifies the e-mail address of the recipient, and
can confirm the spam has been delivered and that you responded.
When unsubscribing from e-mail, the
main rule to follow is: if you didn't originally opt-in to receive
it, or if you don't recognise the sender / company sending the e-mail,
then don't unsubscribe. Trying to unsubscribe from one e-mail can
start a flood of mail from other sources, so if you are unsure,
it is best not to unsubscribe and block the mail another way. When
unsubscribing from mail always check that the links in the e-mail
go to the correct company Web site and not a Phishing site.
When filling in Web forms, check
on to other companies. There may be a checkbox to opt out of third
Do not respond to e-mail requests
to validate or confirm any of your account details. Your bank, credit
card company etc. already have your account details, and would not
need you to validate them. If you are unsure if a request for personal
information from a company is legitimate, contact the company directly
or type the Web site URL directly into your browser.
Do not click on the links in the
e-mail, as they may be fake links to phishing Web sites.
If you have an e-mail address that
receives a large amount of spam, consider replacing it with a new
address and informing your contacts of the new address. Once you
are on lots of spammers' mailing lists, it is likely that the address
will receive more and more spam.