Beware of the Newest Activity Online: Phishing

No. I'm not talking here about the outdoor activity enjoyed by many. And no again; I did not misspell it. Phishing is the name given to the latest online scam where millions of unwary Americans are getting their identities stolen.

This fraudulent activity is considered the fastest growing crime of modern times. The favorite target groups of phishers seem to be very young children and senior citizens, as they do not often ask for credit reports, fill out credit card applications or solicit loans. This allows the thieves to go undetected for longer periods of time; but still, be careful. We all are potential targets.

Remember when throwing away unshredded documents with personal information in the trash bin was considered a big risk for identity theft? While this still happens, identity thieves have become more sophisticated in recent times, and this is how they do it?

Phishers create bogus e-mails that look as if they came from large, well-known institutions and banks, such as eBay, Paypal, Citibank, EarthLink, and Wells Fargo among others. These e-mails claim that you are due for an account update, or that the account number, password, social security number or other confidential information needs to be verified. Then they warn you, stating that if you do not do it within a certain period of time, that your account will be closed, terminated, the service discontinued, or something to that effect.

They even provide you with links to websites that look legitimate, because they hijack the real logos of these well known banks, and trusted institutions and companies. And that is the scary part? these e-mails look 100% legitimate, but they are not.

In some cases it goes even further? some of these phishers are installing spyware on your computer to monitor your online activities. So? should you leave the online world for good? Not necessarily.

These are a few things you can do to protect yourself from these scammers:

1. Do not respond to any e-mail that asks for personal information from you, such as account number, credit card number, user names, passwords, etc. If you suspect that the e-mail, indeed, be legitimate, contact your bank or institution to verify this.

2. When in doubt, visit the Anti-Phishing Working Group for an update of the latest scams, and tips to avoid becoming a victim. The website's URL is www.antiphishing.org

3. Websites like www.Paypal.com, www.citibank.com, and www.ebay.com, offer security tips and tell you what information they'd never ask for in an e-mail.

4. Get anti-virus software and keep it up-to-date.

5. If you suspect you have received a fraudulent e-mail, do not click on any links within it, and forward it to the FTC at [email protected]

Finally, if you suspect you've been a victim of this fraud, get a copy of your credit report immediately to check for unusual activity. If you discover that you've been a victim of identity theft, close your account at once and?

- Call the Credit Bureau.

- File a police report.

- Call the FTC ID theft hotline at (877)IDTHEFT.

- Alert other financial institutions where you have accounts.

According to the Anti-Phishing Working Group, phishers send millions of e-mails a day, getting about 5% response. Even with this low response, it is estimated that about 150,000 Americans have fallen prey to these scams since May of 2004. Get informed. Do not become a victim yourself.

==============================================

You have permission to publish this article electronically or in print, free of charge, as long as the bylines are included. A courtesy copy of your publication would be appreciated.

E-mail: [email protected]
November, 2004.

==============================================

Tamara Baruhovich is the author of "Straight Talk about Network Marketing" A no hype, no B.S. e-course that shouldn't be missed if you are serious about starting a successful career in Network Marketing! Get your complimentary copy here? [email protected]

In The News:

Robocalls | About Verizon  Verizon Communications

5 Zero-Cost Spam Prevention Tools For All Situations!

Anyone who uses email knows what Spam is!It's annoying and... Read More

How to Protect Your Email ID from Spammers?

You must be one of them experiencing a lot of... Read More

Corporate Email Policies Lower Unnecessary Legal and Security Risks

What comes to your mind when you think about your... Read More

Having a Bad e MALE Day? Email, Spam, Spam and More Spam

You just sat at your desk, opened your email account... Read More

ANTI-S*P^A#M: Protecting Your Web Sites Email Address(es)

Did you know that there are software programs that view... Read More

Dont Give the Spammers Your Address From Your Page

Spammers get email addresses from web pages using programs called... Read More

Invasion of the Email Snatchers

They're sneaky. And stealthy. They're quiet and mostly unobtrusive, but... Read More

Is Email Dying?

2004 was really a year when the whole subject of... Read More

Protecting Yourself With A Porn Filter

The harmful affects of pornography use and addiction are well... Read More

Stop Spam: How To Escape The Spam Hell-Hole

If you're anything like me, you're pretty sick of it,... Read More

Block Ads, Defeat Pop-Ups, and STOP Page Hijacking

You're not alone!Who hasn't surfed the web looking for information... Read More

Dont Look Spammy!

We all hate spam and get way too much of... Read More

SPAM: A Nutrious Food or a Waste of Time?

Unless the filters on your computer are really good, you're... Read More

Spasms & Spamocidal Mania

Below is a letter I wrote to the following organizations:S.H.U.... Read More

Is There A National Do Not Spam List?

You may have already received a do not spam list... Read More

Stop Intrusive Pop-up Ads and Regain Control of Your Online Experience!

Stop intrusive pop-up ads and regain control of your online... Read More

A Practical Approach to Eliminate Spam

Spam is out of control! I guess that would be... Read More

Block Spam with An Easy Behavioral Change

E-mails now have a connection back to their servers. I... Read More

I Must Be The Luckiest Person Alive! Spam

I must be the luckiest person alive! My inbox is... Read More

Eight Quick Tips For Stopping SPAM

If you are buried in SPAM then you're not alone.... Read More

Spammer in the Slammer: Jeremy Jaynes Sentenced to Nine Years

Will other spammers take heed? Don't count on it.Jeremy Jaynes... Read More

How Spammers Fool Rule-based and Signature-Based Spam Filters

Effectively stopping spam over the long-term requires much more than... Read More

The Definition of Spam

Spam can bring down your website faster than a speeding... Read More

Internet Tip of the Week: Cease and Desist

While we all admit that unsolicited commercial email is a... Read More

Where Did The Word Spam Come From?

We've all become familiar with the term spam. It's become... Read More