Other email scams include “phishing” scams, whereby an email will look like an official email from a legitimate institution. The email may lead to a web page that is also fake, but that carefully imitates the branding of the site it is copying. It might copy the look of a banking website, for example. The aim is to extract passwords, bank account information, and other personal data.
These are only some of the many scams where email is the medium. Email is an effective medium for scammers because they can send millions of emails simultaneously and if only one or two people fall for the bait, the scammers will recover their costs and more. The fact that the scammers use online tools to cover their tracks and typically operate from outside the United States makes tracking and prosecuting them difficult to impossible.
They have computers that can make up e-mail addresses at a very fast rate, or they purchase e-mail addresses from some other unscrupulous person.
As an example, a scammer may send out 4,000,000 emails telling a sob story like they are poor and have a daughter who needs a very expensive lifesaving operation and ask that you help them to pay for this operation by sending them just $10.00. If only half of the 4,000,000 e-mails get through to real e-mail addresses, and one percent of those receiving them answer and send them $10.00, they will have made $200,000.