The internet can be a fun place to interact with people and gain info, however, it can also be a dangerous place if you don't know what you're doing.
Many times, these scams initiate from an unsolicited email. If you do end up getting any suspicious or fraudulent emails, make sure you immediately delete the message or mark it as spam.
What is spoofing?
Spoofing happens when a hacker sends an email that looks like it came from your email address. While AOL tries hard to make sure we take steps to guard against this, if you do suspect you've been spoofed there are steps you can take to secure your account.
What are phishing scams?
Phishing scams happen when you receive an email that looks like it came from a company you trust (like AOL), but is ultimately from a hacker trying to get your information.
All legitimate AOL Mail will be marked as either Certified Mail, if its an official marketing email, or Official Mail, if it's an important account email. If you get an email claiming to be from AOL, but it's not marked this way, it's likely the email is fake and you should immediately delete it.
What are pyramid schemes?
Pyramid schemes on the internet involve emails sent requesting you to send money to another person and will place your name on a list to get money in the future.
These schemes are a violation of our Terms of Service and should not be encouraged. If you receive emails likes this, please immediately delete them and mark as Spam.
What are third-party charge scams?
Third-party charge scams happen when you receive an email from a company claiming to have billed your AOL payment method. You'll then be asked to log in to their site with your username and password and download files to your computer.
Once you log in to the scam site, they'll have access to your AOL account info, and the software can infect your computer with viruses or malware. Because of this, you should NEVER click on links or download files from any email you receive from unknown senders.
What kinds of junk email can be dangerous?
While most junk email can seem like a minor annoyance, certain types of email can cause problems for not only you but other people you email. Sometimes these emails can contain dangerous viruses or malware that can infect your computer by downloading attached software, screensavers, photos, or offers for free products.
Additionally, be wary if you receive unsolicited emails indicating you've won a prize or contest, or asking you to forward a petition or email. Any info these scammers gain by sending you this info will make it easier for them to hack not only your email account, but any other account you have online.
What are 800 and 888 phone number scams?
If you get an email providing you a PIN number and an 800 or 888 number to call, this a scam to try and steal valuable personal info.
These emails will often ask you to call AOL at the number provided, provide the PIN number and will ask for account details including your password.
AOL will NEVER ask for your password and would not ask you to confirm billing info in this way.