Have you checked your e-mail spam folder? Your e-mail provider's spam filter is a highly valuable tool which identifies and collects bogus, unwanted messages; which often either contain malware or link to sites which do. I happily use my e-mail provider's spam tool. It saves me plenty of time and aggravation.
You don't have to read the messages collected in your spam folder by your e-mail service. I do occasionally because I've taken my online security a step further. I configured the spam filter to trap all inbound messages not in my e-mail address book, and not only the messages it identified as spam. For me, nothing gets through unless I already know you. I don't want any of this garbage downloaded to my laptop's hard drive.
Call me extra careful.
Recently, when I scanned my spam folder I found a flood of messages up from three or five daily to 30 or 40. The subject lines of the bogus messages included a wide variety of offers: timeshare rentals, hair removal products, credit scores, credit cards, dating services, pet products, wrinkle removal products, home refinance loans, ink for computer printers, and much more. Often, the bogus messages pretended to be valid businesses, such as Amazon and Walmart. A partial list of the messages in my spam folder:
Clearly, the spammers hope to trick users into opening these messages. Don't. Experts advise consumers not to reply to these bogus e-mails. If you do, you'll only get more.
If you know where to look, it's fairly easy to spot the spam. All of the messages include the same e-mail reply address. In this instance it is email@example.com. Unfortunately, Cron-Job is a valid business which did not send out this spam. According to the Denver Post:
"Cron-jobs is a non-profit organization supporting Cron, a Unix-software utility. The site was spoofed! Cron-jobs documents what happened here: cron-job.org/en/spam- statement... The messages are not from them, thus they cannot stop them. They don’t even use the “firstname.lastname@example.org” email... The messages are likely being sent on a bot-network. These are computers that have malware on them and their owners don’t know the machines were hijacked..."
So, a word to the wise. Regularly scan you computer (e.g., laptop, desktop, tablet, phone) to identify and remove malware. You don't want to contribute to the e-mail spam problem.
I noticed another sender's e-mail address generating lots of spam: XXXXXXXXXXXXaolea.us. The spammers vary the numbers and letters in the XXX portion of the e-mail address, but my e-mail service provider is skilled at identifying bogus messages.
Last, if you haven't activated the spam filter offered by your e-mail provider, now is a good time to do so.