One of our favorite Authors is
Jim Edwards. He is a syndicated newspaper columnist who recently
published this article discussing phishing, identity theft,
scams and fraud as
one of his regular newspaper columns. (http://www.TheNetReporter.com) This is what he wrote:
"Cyber Crooks Go "Phishing"
- by Jim Edwards
© Jim Edwards - All Rights reserved
"Phishing," the latest craze
among online evil-doers, has nothing to do with sitting at the
end of a dock on a sunny afternoon dangling a worm to entice
But, if you take their bait, this new breed of online con
artist will hook you, reel you in, and take you for every
dollar you have... or worse.
"Phishing" describes a combination of techniques used by cyber
crooks to bait people into giving up sensitive
personal data such as credit card numbers, social security
numbers, bank account numbers, dates of birth and more.
Their techniques work so well that, according to
FraudWatchInternational.com, "phishing" rates as the
scam on the Internet.
Here's the basic pattern for a "phishing" scam...
You receive a very official email that appears to originate
from a legitimate source, such as a bank, eBay, PayPal, a
major retailer, or some other well known entity.
In the email it tells you that something bad is about to
happen unless you act quickly.
Typically it tells you that your account is about to get
closed, that someone appears to have stolen your identity, or
even that someone opened a fraudulent account using your name.
In order to help straighten everything out, you need to
click a link in the email and provide some basic account
information so they can verify your identity and then give you
additional details so you can help get everything cleared up.
Once you give up your information...
it's all over but the crying!
After getting your information, these cyber-bandits can
empty your bank accounts, deplete your PayPal accounts, run up
your credit card balances, open new credit accounts, assume
your identity and much worse.
An especially disturbing new variation of this scam
specifically targets online business owners and affiliate
In this con, the scammer's email informs you that they've just
sent $1,219.43 (or a similar big but believable amount) in
affiliate commissions to you via PayPal.
They need you to log into your PayPal account to verify
receipt of the money and then email them back to confirm you
Since you're so excited at the possibility of an unexpected
pay day, you click the link to go to PayPal, log in, and BANG!
They have your PayPal login information and can empty your
This new "phishing" style scam works extremely well for 2
by exploiting your sense of urgency created by fear or
greed, crooks get you to click the link and give them your
information without thinking.
scammers use a variety of cloaking and spoofing
techniques to make their emails and websites appear totally
legitimate, making it extremely hard to spot a fake website,
especially when they've first whipped you into an emotional
The good news, however, is that you can protect yourself
relatively easily against this type of cyber-crime with basic
software and common sense.
Most of these scams get delivered to you via Spam
(unsolicited email), so a good spam blocker will cut down on
many of them even making it to your inbox.
If you receive an email that looks legitimate and you want to
respond, Stop - Wait - Think!
Verify all phone numbers with a physical phone book or
online phone directory like
www.ATT.com/directory/ before calling.
Look for spelling and grammatical errors that make it look
like someone who doesn't speak English or your native language
very well wrote it.
Never click the link provided in the email, but go directly to
the website by typing in the main address of the site yourself
(example: www.paypal.com or www.ebay.com).
Forward the email to the main email address of the website
(example: firstname.lastname@example.org) or call the customer service
number on the main website you typed in yourself and ask if it
is in fact legitimate.
Above all remember this:
Your bank, credit card company, PayPal, eBay and anyone else
you deal with online already knows your account number,
username, password or any other account specific information.
They don't need to email you for ANY reason to ask you to
confirm your information -- so NEVER respond to email requests
for your account or personal details.
-- Jim Edwards is a syndicated newspaper columnist
(http://www.TheNetReporter.com) and is the author of
several best-selling ebooks, information products and
co-author of an amazing new ebook that will
teach you how to use free articles to quickly drive thousands
of targeted visitors to your website or affiliate links...(See
SideBar for more information)
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