Unsolicited e-mails also known as spam have become more prevalent, so have attempts to defraud consumers.
One way to prevent becoming a victim of an e-mail scam is being able to properly identify legitimate e-mails from the fraudulent ones.
One example of an e-mail scam is a message that states you have won a foreign lottery, and in order to process your winnings, you need only send some funds to cover taxes and/or fees. This is a scam. Participating in a foreign lottery violates U.S. law, and criminals will keep the funds sent to them.
Another example of an internet scam is check overpayment. This is when a consumer sells an item on the internet and the buyer of the item sends them a check for more money than what the item is worth. The seller is then asked to wire the difference back to the buyer. Typically what happens is the buyer or criminal has given the seller a counterfeit check. The criminal now has the money that was wired to them, and the seller has nothing.
The Federal Trade Commission has setup an e-mail address that if you receive a message that you believe to be fraudulent, forward it to email@example.com.