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4 common email crimes

Email is one of the most useful forms of electronic communication. Of course, its popularity is dwindling with the rise of texting. But it is still common to use email for communicating with individuals and staying up to date with subscriptions to websites. 

As with any form of online communication, email is prone to scams and criminal activity. Here are some of the most common ways that people misuse email for criminal purposes

1. Spoofing

A spoof email is an email that seems like it is from a legitimate source but is actually from an unreliable one. Usually, the sender falsifies the name or address of the originator in order to appear valid. For example, someone may send an email pretending to be a close friend or a trustworthy website in order to scam the recipient. Spoofing is often committed with the intention of defrauding the recipient of money.

2. Spreading viruses

Malicious codes can spread throughout virtually any aspect of the internet. Email messages are some of the most prevalent ways this occurs. A sender can spread a virus, worm or Trojan to millions of computers within the span of a few hours. 

3. Threatening messages

Email is one of the most common electronic methods for people to send threats. This may include false threats of arrest, exposing information or other trouble. In cases like this, the sender often extorts the recipient for money or something else in exchange for not following through with the false threat. Other times, email may be used to make a direct threat of violence or other types of harm. 

4. Catfishing

Some people use email as a way to conduct a romance scam, commonly known as catfishing. This is when an individual pretends to be someone else with a romantic interest in the recipient. This can evolve into the sender gaining access to financial and identification information from the recipient.

Email crimes can come with serious criminal punishments. 

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