Question from reader:
The criminals will then use this information to hijack your account and conduct fraudulent activities. They may:
- Steal your money
- Conduct banking or credit card fraud
- Steal your identity
- Use your accounts to launch further scam and spam campaigns
However, instead of asking you to provide your personal information directly, clicking the link or opening the attachment may install malicious software on your computer without your knowledge.
Typically, this malware can collect sensitive information such as passwords and usernames from your computer and send it to criminals. It may also download and install further malware.
And, the malware may join your computer to a ‘botnet’. A botnet is a large collection of infected computers that criminals can control from afar. Botnets are often used to conduct spam and scam campaigns. For example, a botnet may be used to send phishing scam emails to hundreds of thousands of potential victims.