Email Fraud Is on the Rise. No Spoofing.

The word

spoof

has a few definitions: to deceive; a hoax; or to make good-natured fun of something. When it comes to spoofing in the online world, it’s all about deceiving—and nothing about it is good-natured.

Email spoofing is a growing problem. Tricksters somehow compromise your computer and see the names of your friends or companies you do business with. Suddenly, you’re getting emails from “your bank” (but it’s a fake) or from a friend (but it’s an imposter). The email will try to trick you into giving away personal or financial information.

IP spoofing, which is done by hackers, intrudes on a user’s Internet activity during transmission. The hacker “borrows” IP addresses, but often you’re not the target—instead, the hacker wants to overload a targeted website or service with so much fake traffic that it temporarily shuts down.

What’s the lesson to be learned? Be vigilant! Take a long look at every email and think twice before clicking. And keep your anti-malware and anti- spyware up to date.