What happens when you reply to a spam email?

Spam emails: you may never think they’ll happen to you – but it’s much easier to get sucked in than you’d think. Scam emails can come in all sorts of shapes and sizes – an Amazon order you’ve supposedly made, a message from your bank advising you of a problem with your account or even being told you’re due for a tax rebate. Dressed up to look like the real deal, they can fool even the savviest of internet users, but if you or one of your employees makes that one seemingly harmless click, you could end up costing your business millions of pounds in theft, recovery costs as well as loss of customers. If you’ve ever been tempted to reply to your scammers, take a look at this TED Talk to see what might happen next.

What happens when you reply to a spam email?

Comedian and writer James Veitch received a spam email (despite having an excellent filter in place) from a man named ‘Solomon Odonkoh’ who wanted to discuss an ‘interesting business proposal’. Rather than deleting the email as the majority of us would, James decided to reply to the email claiming he was intrigued and wanted to know more. Quite unbelievably, Solomon replied. His venture included gold valued at millions of pounds, and James wanted in on the action as the amount of the proposed shipment went up and up. The conversation went on, as though a business transaction was being put in place, getting more and more ridiculous as time went on. Asking to be addressed as ‘KitKat’ in all further correspondence as part of an elaborate code for kicks, James now makes a regular habit of replying to email scammers, essentially wasting their time so they’re not able to scam vulnerable people through email. It’s a risky strategy, but one that has resulted in many YouTube videos and books. Having actually made money from this, it’s James who’s having the last laugh.

Protect yourself from scam

While James knew what he was doing, there are many people who could find themselves at risk by replying to a scam email. Aside from opening up communications further and risking data theft, these sorts of scams can lead to threats and more which can have severe consequences for victims. As funny as it could be, refrain from replying to scam emails and make yourself aware of what general internet spam looks like – it could protect you and your business from harm.

Having an email filter like MailCleaner can help to keep your business or organisation safe, preventing these emails from reaching inboxes before the temptation to open them or reply sets in. A low-cost, effective solution – you can safeguard against 99% of email viruses and scams with MailCleaner.

To find out more about MailCleaner, get in touch with us and we’ll be happy to discuss your needs.