Email Hoax

What Does Email Hoax Mean?

An email hoax is a scam that is distributed in email form. It is designed to deceive and defraud email recipients, often for monetary gain.

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Hoax is derived from hocus, a term first used in the late 18th century.

Techopedia Explains Email Hoax

An email hoax is a commonly used Internet scam tactic targeted to specified demographics, markets or causes, including:

  • Charities, such as missing children
  • Nigerian scams
  • Lottery scams
  • Dating scams
  • Chain letters
  • Fake security warnings

For example, an email hoax may be a bogus warning about a non-existent security threat or virus. This type of email hoax creates a sense of urgency that goads recipients into downloading purportedly safe repair software.

Email hoax prevention is possible through education. Web users of all levels are encouraged to stay on top of continuously changing Internet and email security issues.

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Margaret Rouse

Margaret Rouse is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical, business audience. Over the past twenty years her explanations have appeared on TechTarget websites and she's been cited as an authority in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine and Discovery Magazine.Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages. If you have a suggestion for a new definition or how to improve a technical explanation, please email Margaret or contact her…