What Are the Unsubscribe Email Scams and How To Deal With Them?
Hitting the Unsubscribe button seems like a safe way to stop spam emails from clogging up your inbox. But, did you know that clicking on the Unsubscribe link in an email is not always the best idea?
Is It Safe To Unsubscribe From Spam Emails?
The first rule with spam and phishing emails is: Do not click on any links. When you click on a link in a spam email, two things can happen:
- The sender gets a verification that your email address is active and will use it to send more spam emails
- The link will redirect you to a malicious website that will either trick you into disclosing private info or install malware on your device
Does the rule apply to any link?
Legitimate companies are required to include the Unsubscribe option according to the CAN-SPAM Act. This piece of legislation is popularly called the email unsubscribe law, specifically because it provides the recipient with the opportunity to unsubscribe from spam emails directly.
Scammers have found a way to use this to their advantage, turning the Unsubscribe button itself into a malicious link.
How Does the Unsubscribe Scam Work? Why Can't I Unsubscribe From Spam Emails?
The Unsubscribe email scam is designed to push you to click on the Unsubscribe button.
You can get ten to fifteen intentionally annoying emails from one "company".
The messages are usually full of flashy colors, gifs, aggressive sales pitches—anything that will make you want to unsubscribe. Each email will also have multiple Unsubscribe links.
These are, of course, phishing scams, and the links are malicious. They will take you to fake websites or install spyware on your device.
It's understandable to be perplexed about the best option to stop receiving unwanted emails. Scammers are counting on that confusion.
The safest course of action, even with legitimate emails, is not to click on any links—not even the Unsubscribe button.
Even if emails are coming from a real business, there is always a simpler and safer method to stop unwanted emails.
Handling the Unsubscribe Emails Scams With DoNotPay
Whether the email is a phishing attempt or a promo message coming from a legitimate company is irrelevant. DoNotPay can help you block the sender's email address permanently.
Follow these steps:
- Open DoNotPay in your web browser
- Select the Spam Collector feature
- Enter your email address to connect it with DoNotPay
- Forward the next email you receive to firstname.lastname@example.org
With this process, you will prevent the sender from spamming you in the future.
DoNotPay will also check if there is a class action against the sender so you can add yourself to it. Search for the flag in the Spam Collector tab on your DoNotPay dashboard to check if this option is available.
Additional Methods of Dealing With the Unsubscribe Email Scams
You can always try additional protective methods to keep your inbox safe from email scammers. Some of the options you can try are:
Blocking a Sender
As long as the sender is not hidden, you can use the Block feature to stop getting messages from them regardless of the email service you use. Blocking an email address on Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo, or other platforms is a straightforward process.
The specifics may vary, but here are the general steps to take:
- Access your email inbox
- Find the suspicious email
- Open it
- Access the menu
- Find the Block option
Do this by accessing the email app on your device, locating the email in question, and choosing the block option.
This action will likely send emails to your spam folder, which means you won't see any messages from the blocked sender in the future.
Reporting Emails as Spam
There are several ways to report spam emails. You can flag spam messages by:
- Using your email platform—Do this by opening the spam message and accessing the menu at the top. There is usually an option to mark messages as spam, flag a message as spam, or report spam
- Reaching out to the sender's email provider—Find the contact info of the sender’s email provider and forward them the spam email. Make sure to include all relevant info in the email
- Going to the Federal Trade Commission Complaint Center—Choose the Robocalls, Unwanted Telemarketing, Text, or SPAM category and follow the prompts to report spam
When you mark an email as spam, you do much more than block the sender. The process helps prevent similar emails from reaching you in the future by allowing the service provider and government agencies to analyze the message and figure out its pattern.
Recognizing and Reporting Phishing Unsubscribe Email Scams
To stop phishing emails, you first need to learn to recognize them.
It's not always easy to tell if an email is spam, but phishing can be even more difficult to recognize. Here are some pointers that will help you recognize phishing attempts:
Are They Asking for Personal Info?
If the Unsubscribe button leads you to a page asking you to enter your name, phone number, email, or Social Security number, it's a scam
Does the Company Exist?
If the constant emails appear to be coming from a real company, google them. In case they don't exist, the email is a scam. But if they are real, contact them via the website contact info
Are There Spelling and Grammar Errors?
These emails are often full of language discrepancies and spelling errors. Legitimate companies will not allow this to happen
If an email ticks any of these boxes, use your email service provider to report phishing attempts and email abuse as well. These options are available by accessing the menu within the message.
DoNotPay Can Help With Spam in Your Physical Mailbox as Well
Don't let the spammers smother you with physical spam, either. With only a few clicks, DoNotPay can help you stop physical spam and come aboard the class-action lawsuit against the sender in case there is one.
Here is how to get rid of physical spam:
- Take a photo of a spam letter
- Open DoNotPay in your web browser
- Select the DoNotMail feature
- Follow the steps to block the spammer
DoNotPay Helps You With Other Daily Issues
DoNotPay is a virtual assistant app created to help you manage different daily challenges.
Access DoNotPay from your web browser and discover how DoNotPay can assist you with:
- Fighting speeding tickets
- Getting refunds from companies
- Jumping the phone queue when calling customer service reps
- Blocking other spam emails
- Starting free trials without a credit card
- Getting revenge on robocall scammers
- Contesting parking tickets
- Dealing with challenging bills
- Revoking subscriptions or memberships before they auto-renew
- Disputing traffic tickets
- Reporting stalking and harassment
- Filing a lawsuit in small claims court
- Scheduling a DMV appointment
- Securing compensation and refunds for delayed or canceled flights
- Resolving credit card issues
- Getting compensation from text message scammers