Are You Overwhelmed With Spam? | Attorney General - State of Colorado

Are You Overwhelmed With Spam?

Spam

Spam refers to unwanted bulk messages most commonly sent through email.  With advancements in technology, spam has crossed over into instant messaging, chat rooms, blogs, text messages, and even voice over internet conversation programs.  It is most commonly used as a tool by advertisers due to its low cost, but it’s also used by scam artists to collect sensitive information from recipients as well as to spread digital viruses and malware.

Scam artists can use the sensitive information to commit online identity theft which can be devastating to unsuspecting consumers.  Visit our identity theft center for more information.  

Consumers should never click on links, download attachments, or reply to spam messages, as it will only identify your online account or phone number as an active recipient to the sender.  Scammers may then sell the information to others which will lead to more spam and fraudulent offers. 

Tips for Reducing Spam:

  • Safeguard Your Computer – Many hackers troll the internet looking for unprotected computers that they can install malware on, allowing them to control the computers remotely.  Make sure your security software is up to date and run it frequently to detect possible threats.  Disconnect your computer from the internet when not in use.
     
  • Read Privacy Policies Carefully – Before submitting your email address to a website check the privacy policy to determine if the website owner will sell it to others.  Also look for pre-checked boxes that will sign you up for email newsletters, updates, and advertisements from the company and its affiliates.  Some websites will allow you to opt out of the emails.  You may wish to have two unique email addresses and use one specifically for these sign-ups, online shopping, chat rooms, coupons, etc.
     
  • Research And Use Your Spam Filter – Most email services have spam filters available for their users.  These filters can recognize potential spam messages and separate them into a bulk email folder.  Some even allow you to report the messages as spam or mark them as junk mail.  Other messages can be forwarded to spam@uce.gov with a short description that you’re complaining about being spammed.

Unwanted and fraudulent emails can be reported directly the Federal Trade Commission by forwarding the email message and your complaint information to spam@uce.gov.