I currently receive around 40 legitimate emails per day from customers, colleagues and friends. At last tally, I receive an additional 1000-2000 spam or scam emails each day. A couple of times, I’ve inadvertently opened a few of these, or worse, hit the unsubscribe link. Either of these actions doom you to even more spam/scam emails, as you are now qualified to be on the highly valued, “Responsive/Stupid” list.

If you have half a brain, it is unlikely you’ll fall for the Nigerian lottery emails, or the letters from Interpol advising you that you have been awarded $50,000,000 for the lead you supplied that led to the arrest of that notorious Russian crime lord. I’m not even sure why they bother with these, but there must still be extremely gullible and stupid people that respond, otherwise, they wouldn’t be sending the emails.

There is, however, a newer type of spam/scam that appears to come from sources you already do business with, e.g., Apple, your bank, specialty vendors, etc. These are extremely well done and the HTML looks exactly like what you would expect if they were legitimate. Here’s a tip for recognizing these:

If you look at the URL, you will see that while they do end in the legitimate code, e.g. apple.com, royalbank.com, etc., there is always a prefix to that code. For example, the scam email from “Apple” will look something like this: specialoffers@info.apple.com, or mortgageupdate@reply.royalbank.com, or breakingnews@immediate.droz.com, etc.

Some tech gurus have written that spam will be the end of the internet because it not only eats up massive bandwidth on servers around the world, but it creates mistrust of the basic medium among users. I’m getting there.