Helping people with computers... one answer at a time.
It can be disconcerting to get spam that seems related to the sites you visit. It's probably not related, but there are a couple of ways it might be.
I have noticed that I am getting spams related to websites I access frequently. That is, if I am accessing my bank account online, or pay bills online, spams asking for passwords, security etc., are received. My question is, how do spammers know of the sites I visit. And how do I make my online transactions safe, and hidden from spammers.
My initial reaction is to say: they don't. And in most cases I'm going to stick with that as the most likely answer.
There are a few exceptions where you might get spam related to your visits. Some are benign, but others might be a sign of problems on your computer.
By and large spammers have no idea who you are. In fact, most don't even know if your email address even works - they're just blasting spam out to anything and everyone they can with the hopes that some small percentage will get looked at, and a small percentage of that will actually get acted on.
I think part of it can be the "new car effect" - when you get a new car you suddenly see that same car on the road much more often than you did before you got one. It's not that they weren't there - they were - it's just that now as a proud owner of a certain model you're more likely to see that model on the road.
The same can happen with spam. For a while there was a common spam spoofing UPS and FedEx delivery service notifications. I had a UPS account and UPS deliveries at the time and you can bet I noticed the UPS related phishing attempts.
So the most likely cause is simply coincidence; there's probably no relationship whatsoever.
If you have an existing business relationship with a company and they have your email address it's possible that you may get email that you consider spam that relates to, or results from, your relationship with that company. For example, quite often as you complete a purchase or register with an online merchant you'll see an option to allow them to share your email address with trusted partners.
Typically this is more traditional marketing material attempting to sell you related services or products, and certainly nothing that would ask for your password or other security information unless you clicked through to log in to a web site.
So I'm not as convinced that this applies to your scenario, but it is a possibility for some.
Of course there is a scenario that could explain everything you're seeing and worse: spyware.
It's possible that your machine is infected with a keylogger or other form of spyware that is indeed tracking what you're up to including which sites you visit. It's possible, I suppose, that the hacker collecting this information could then turn around and sell your email address and activities to spammers who would then be able to target your activities specifically.
My only hesitation with this scenario is simply that it's not necessary.
By that I mean if you have spyware on your machine that's capable of collecting your email address and your web browsing activity, why would they stop there? At that point they could snoop in on anything including your banking activity - they wouldn't have to resort to phishing to get that information from you.
Naturally the "cure" here is pretty simple: keep malware off of your machine. Run up to date scans regularly, and practice "safe computing" to keep your machine safe.
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