The emails you need to delete now: five common scams to look out for

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Online scammers continue to get more and more clever. You might think you'd be able to spot a scam email a mile off, but you'd be surprised at how convincing many of them are.

To help you out we've highlighted five recent and common email scams so you know to delete them right away should you receive one.


1. The tax rebate scam
With the end of the tax year only just behind us, and after the HMRC tax code disaster an email telling you you have a tax rebate would seem pretty feasible.

These emails look like they have come from HMRC, detail the name of a 'tax credit officer' and even provide legitimate looking reference numbers. However HMRC will never, ever email you with details of a tax rebate, or to ask for any personal information - so if you get an email like this make sure you hit delete straight away.

2. The job opportunity scam
Playing on widespread unemployment, these particular email scams are getting much more common. They are usually for home-based positions and can often be quite convincing as they don't ask for any personal details initially. It's when you reply and receive an 'application form' that they'll ask for far too much personal information.

If you're unsure, any poor spelling or grammar is usually a big give away, but of course make sure you look up the organisation to see whether it's legitimate. Remember too that companies are unlikely to send out unsolicited emails if you haven't previously sent them your CV.

3. The account update scam
An ever-popular one with the scammers, these emails pretend to be from your bank asking you to login and update your details or your account could be breached.

Obviously these are easy to spot if you get one from a bank that you are not a customer of, but if the email looks like it comes from your bank it can be a lot harder to resist.

Remember that banks very rarely send unsolicited emails, especially not those asking for any personal details. If you are concerned about your account, give your bank a call first and don't click on any of the links in the email.

4. The DVLA scam
Another one doing the rounds recently, this is quite an aggressive and threatening email claiming to be from the DVLA and telling you that if you don't update your details (on their scam website) you could lose your licence. The poor English in this makes it pretty easy to spot - delete it straight away.

5. The '419 scam'
The original scam email, there are hundreds of variations of this about now, all from a named individual asking for help to escape prison in return for a reward, or help distributing their fortune with a cut for you and various similar scenarios.

Generally pretty easy to spot, they are often poorly written. Hopefully, your common sense will prevail here - because emails like these are all to good to be true, so delete them.

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