The most common e-mail and computer scams are designed to have you click on a link in the e-mail or an attachment to it. The result is malware downloaded to the computer. Malware might do a range of different things. It might give the scammers access to or information on your computer. Or it might flood your computer with various advertisements or software trials. It might simply be malicious, essentially rendering your computer useless.
The latest of these malware e-mail cons is the fake funeral notice, according to the Federal Trade Commission. The subject line is something like “Funeral Notification.” The e-mail appears to be from a real funeral home and informs you that someone special to you has passed away. You can learn more by clicking on the link. Don’t click on the link. E-mails such as these are frauds. If you really want to check it out, in case it is legitimate, then open your web browser and go directly to the web site of the funeral home by typing its address in the address line. If the notice is legitimate, you should be able to locate the information on the web site.
Malware, short for “malicious software,” includes viruses and spyware that get installed on your computer without your consent. These programs can cause your device to crash and can be used to monitor and control your online activity. Criminals use malware to steal personal information, send spam, and commit fraud.
If you get an email about a friend or loved one’s passing, the Federal Trade Commission, the nation’s consumer protection agency, says hit Delete. Don’t click on the link. You may then want to contact the funeral home or family directly to verify the information.