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Dear Jon: To be spam or not to be spam? That is the question

By Jon K. Brent, Anchor, jonkbrent@kionrightnow.com
Published On: Jan 20 2014 12:58:03 PM CST
Updated On: Jan 20 2014 01:04:04 PM CST
Dear Jon Computer 2

Spammers and Scammers use your email to prey on you

Spam, not the edible version, but the email version is a bottomless pit of problems if you let your curiosity get the best of you. Kornelia messaged me on Facebook and asked, “Dear Jon, I received an email about a mandatory court appearance in Georgia in my spam folder, but I can't open the attachment. What do I do?”

When I get questions like this it makes the hair on the back of my neck stand up. It’s a blatant attempt by scammers to take advantage of you. Quick answer: delete it!

One thing you can do is forward the email to your email provider’s security department for emails that you feel smack of fraud. A viewer messaged me after this report aired and said she sends spam to spam@uce.gov. This is the Federal Trade Commission’s database of spam email that they use to build cases against those who use email to spread false and misleading information. Our viewer said this cuts down on a lot of spam in her email folder. The FTC website has a whole section on spam.

Another viewer messaged me and said he too had received an email of a supposed mandatory court appearance in another state and he did a Web search on the sender’s name and a website came up that revealed the scam and information on how to combat it. So do your homework if you get this kind of spam.

Or do what I do with my spam folder, I erase it everyday. I don't even look at it. And there's a reason for that.

Experts warn that 99.9 percent of the time spam equals bad. If you have no idea what the email could be or why it came to you, all the more reason to delete it.

A lot of product pitches and scams land in your spam folder. And certainly don't try to open any attachments you’re not sure about. That's where cyber virus, trojans and worms hide and they can do irreparable damage to your computer.

Spammers and scammers love to use your email to get to you in a moment of weakness or curiosity. Don't go there.

In the paraphrased words of Shakespeare: To be spam or not to be spam? That is the question. If it's legit, they'll find a more legitimate way to get a hold of you.

But typically not by email and certainly not in your spam folder. Just delete it!

If you have a question for me email me on the link above or message me on Facebook “JonKBrent KIONKCOY” and Twitter “@DearJonKBrent”.