Email hoax definition
An email hoax is a type of online scam involving sending out fraudulent emails. They are usually crafted to invoke a sense of urgency and meant to deceive people into taking some sort of action. The email often contains false or misleading information, like a warning about a non-existent virus, a request for money, or a claim that a particular person or company is in trouble. Email hoaxes can also be spread through social media platforms and are designed to cause recipients to experience fear or anxiety. In some cases, they may also contain malicious software or links that can lead to phishing attacks or identity theft.
Email hoax vs. phishing emails
Phishing is a type of online scam where a fake email or a message is sent to an individual or a group of people with the intent to trick them into revealing sensitive information, like login credentials, Social Security numbers, or credit card details. Phishing emails are made up to look like they are sent from legitimate and trustworthy sources (banks, social media platforms, or government agencies, for example).
An email hoax also contains false or misleading information, but it doesn’t necessarily aim to steal personal information or install malware. Email hoaxes can be used to spread rumors, scare people, or create confusion. However, they generally don’t try to trick people into divulging personal or sensitive information, like phishing emails do.