Email is a useful way to communicate with others and to stay updated by people and organisations you trust. However, it's also popular with those that send spam or phishing emails, which might trick you into giving money or personal information. Take a look below to learn about spam and phishing emails, and how to report scam emails.
Spam (or junk) emails are those that you haven't asked for. They might include advertising for online pharmacies, loans or adult services. Some may mask a virus or have phishing content.
These unwanted emails might pretend to be from known companies. Or they might appear to come from friends or people you know, if they've also been affected.
Spammers collect email addresses from news groups or websites that share them without your permission.
Phishing emails try to trick you into giving personal or financial details, or into downloading malicious software onto your computer or device.
They do this by pretending to be from a trusted source, such as a bank, shop, lottery or government department. The link they include will take you to a site that might look genuine but is actually a fake.
There are some common ways that you can spot a phishing email. They include:
However, you might find some phishing emails don't display all of the above features.
At SSE, we won't ask for you for a password or other personal details in our emails.
It can be tricky to avoid spam completely, but there are a few things you can do to stay safe:
If you've received or been the victim of fraudulent emails, you can contact ActionFraud to report an email scam.