The difference between spam and scam

Spam and Scam both connote something negative. That’s what most of us get right. But unbeknownst to many, there’s a contrast between those two terms. By the time you’re done with this article, you would not take them as one thing.


A spam is a message that is randomly sent to a large number of people who did not solicit that message. This may be from an advertising company to promote products or services or the workings of a con artist. Spams are mostly seen on the internet, and often transmitted through emails. Senders of spams do not know who specifically their recipients are, but they dish out enticing messages en masse, stay back and wait while the ignorance and mercy of their victims do the rest of the work.

Examples of Spam

  • Social media expert — “Get 1000 Facebook friends, Twitter followers and Instagram likes”
  • Lucky winner — “ You are the lucky Winner of ¢25000 and a brand new Samsung Galaxy S7”
  • Dream job — “Work from home and get paid ¢250/hr”
  • Free gadgets — “You have been chosen to receive a free iPad Air, Note 7 and iPhone 7”
  • Weight loss — “Lose 5lbs in two days with our new weight loss formula”
  • Male enhancement — “Make it grow bigger and get a free dragon tattoo on it”
  • Nigerian prince — “I am a crown prince with 5,000 acres of a plantain and cassava farm”
  • Porn — “Teen webcam girl gets naked and shows shaved pu**y”
  • Astrology / Psychic related cons — “Visions of your rich future has been seen, pay to receive your lucky numbers, talismans & golden eggs.”
  • Telemarketing — SMS or phone call claiming you have won an acre of land at Kasoa
  • Romance — “I saw your profile and I fell in love with your personality instantly”


A scam is a fraudulent schematic trick which is cleverly made successful by gaining the confidence of the victim. In other words, a scam is what happens if you believe a spam and fall for it.

A scam is what happens if you believe a spam and fall for it.

Many online scams are set off using spams. A spam, thus, is one of the many tools for a scam. Incidentally, numerous individuals who coordinate scams spam to achieve their objectives.

Examples of what people are scammed off

  • Identity
  • Credit / Debit card details
  • Money
  • Bank information
  • Email passwords
  • Social media accounts
  • Device account credentials
  • Land documents


  1. Do not ever give personal information or banking details to someone you do not know or trust whether in person or over the internet.
  2. Understand the fact that there is no easy way to wealth, refuse to commit to anything at high-pressure meetings or seminars and remember there is no ‘easy way’ to make money from home.
  3. Protect your email address by only providing your email contact details to organizations that you know and trust.
  4. Do not open email that is not specifically addressed to you or promises you some unrequested benefit. Do not respond to any offers.
  5. If you want to invest your money, ask for published independent substantiation of projected earnings, current financial statements, and prospectus. Ask for proof of testimonials of financial success.
  6. Always ask yourself, ‘Why contact me when we have no business relations at all’?
  7. If you think that a salesperson is pressuring you or preying on your emotions, give them a simple ‘No’.
  8. Any opening message which says ‘Congratulations, you have won …’ is questionable.
  9. If you really have won something, you need not pay a kobo.

So to summarize,

Seeing a message that is convincing you to click on it, is spam. Clicking on it and not achieving the intended purpose means you have been scammed.

Live it up and be careful with the scammers and spammers. Internet is brimming with them.

Featured image credit: Brennanit

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