1 in 10 fooled by financial email scams

More than one in 10 British email users - 11% - have been taken in by spam emails purporting to be from financial organisations such as banks or even HM Revenue & Customs, new figures show.

But this is hardly surprising given that more than four in 10 of the 1,288 people who took part in the research claimed to receive spam financial emails every day.

Risk in replying
Some 13% of those who receive spam financial emails have tried to take matters into their own hands and stop the inflow of messages of this kind by replying to the mails to complain or ask the sender to stop.

However, most spam email generation accounts are left unread, and replying can in fact increase the security risk to you - even if you are simply trying to stop the sender targeting you.

Not all the spam emails that annoy the respondents to the survey, conducted by discount voucher website MyVoucherCodes, are financial though.

Common themes
Sexually explicit junk mail is even more common than spam messages with financial content.

Emails that appear to be from a bank are the second most common type of spam, followed by ones that do their best to look like messages from the online payments service PayPal.

Other popular themes for spam emails include supposed discounts and fake prize draws or competitions.

MyVoucherCodes is warning email users to be on their guard against spam emails that could pass viruses on to their computers and to treat any unsolicited emails that appear to be from a financial organisation with which they have an account or relationship with extreme caution.

Farhad Farhadi, personal finance expert at MyVoucherCodes, said: ""It's quite worrying that 1 in 10 have believed spam e-mails with a financial subject matter; it's important to never give any of your bank details away via email, as your bank would never send a request for your account details, passwords or PIN. If you have an email asking for such information, there's a very high chance it is fake.

"You should also avoid clicking on links in suspicious looking emails, as they are often full of viruses and can have a very bad effect on your computer or laptop. Most emails come with a spam filter, but some junk mail can sneak through, so the best thing to do is delete anything you are unsure of straight away."

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