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Email Hoax

Definition - 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.

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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