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HOW TO

Beware of the newest activity online… Phishing
By: Developer Shed
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    2004-11-03

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    Beware of the newest activity online… Phishing
    by Tamara Baruhovich

    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 uce@FTC.gov

    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.

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

    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… e-course04@aweber.com

    DISCLAIMER: The content provided in this article is not warranted or guaranteed by Developer Shed, Inc. The content provided is intended for entertainment and/or educational purposes in order to introduce to the reader key ideas, concepts, and/or product reviews. As such it is incumbent upon the reader to employ real-world tactics for security and implementation of best practices. We are not liable for any negative consequences that may result from implementing any information covered in our articles or tutorials. If this is a hardware review, it is not recommended to open and/or modify your hardware.

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