What does Spam look like
Because spam takes many forms it is not possible to show an average example. There are several types of spam, including:
- Offers of products (especially prescriptions) at discount prices.
- Offers of free gifts ranging from gift certificates to new cars.
- Notices that you have won prizes or money.
- "Business propositions" such as work at home or helping someone deposit funds into the United States.
Discounted drug offers are usually from overseas or unlicensed pharmacies. In many cases the "prescriptions" offered are counterfeit and do not contain any real medicine. In other cases the prescriptions are old outdated medicines which have been repackaged, or medicines produced for other countries. Medicines produced for other countries are not controlled by the United States Food and Drug Commission and may not meet the same standards as medicines produced for distribution in the United States.
Free gift offers almost always involve providing personal information about yourself. Not only will you have to provide this information about yourself but you will have to get at least 5 or 10 other people to provide personal information also. That information will then be used by marketers to try to sell products to you. The free gift cards or other gifts often come with restrictions which may make them unusable. Sometimes the offer of a free gift is a scam by criminals. If you respond they may inform you can have the gift if you pay the tax on it. Once you pay the tax you get nothing.
Notices you have won money or prizes are attempts by criminals to get you to give them money. You may receive a notice you have won a lottery in Canada or Ireland or some other country. If you respond the criminals will tell you that you must pay the taxes on the winnings. Once you send them the money you will receive nothing.
Business propositions may range from Work-At-Home offers to emails asking you to help a foreigner invest millions of dollars in the United States. Typically the investment email will claim the sender represents someone who has many millions of dollars in a foreign country and they need an American to accept the funds in the United States for them. They promise 20 to 30 percent of the funds as your fee, usually millions of dollars. These criminals want your bank account information. If you respond to them they will steal your money.