How To Keep From Getting Hooked
sharks are circling and they have their eyes on you! Thieves who
go phishing for you are sneaky and unscrupulous... but they are
very, very good at what they do.
How does a
phishing scam work? Here's one example:
You open an
email message from your bank requesting that you update your information
for their computer records. The email looks legitimate, the bank's
logo and information is all there. You click on the link in the
email and it opens a page that you recognize as your bank's web
site. You enter your user name and password and complete the submission
by entering the information that the bank wants to verify. When
you close the site it gives you the normal thank you information
and you are done.
You have just
been caught by someone phishing!
You gave them
all of the information that they need to go to your bank account
and transfer your money to where ever they please.
The link in the email took you to a site designed with one purpose...
to get you to believe you are somewhere safe so you will reveal
secure information. The page looks exactly like your bank, your
stock account, your credit card company, your PayPal account,
or any site that handles secure transactions. The phony site may
even have links back to the real site so you are really fooled!
If they're so good, what can you do to protect
yourself? Simple. Don't click on any link in an email from a bank or financial institution.
If you get a message from your bank --- go
to the normal log in page. If the request is genuine, there will be a link on the real site for
you to follow. Financial institutions warn their customers to ALWAYS use the main log in page
to transact ANY business or change any information. Never give your account number and password
out in response to an email or phone call.
Internet scams, these phishing expeditions can be easily avoided
if you know about them. If you do any financial transactions online,
never enter the site through an email link. You can use your normal
entry page with confidence that you are not giving your identity
to a thief.
A bit more
difficult to detect are the scam web sites that pretend to be
financial sites. Some offer loans or credit cards at fantastic
interest rates, others will offer to clear your credit or handle
your portfolio. You need to register for the service by giving
them personal information. STOP!
If it sounds like a good deal, do a search
for their name and see if there are any discussions about them. You may find that others who are
focused on this have identified this as a scam. Call the company and verify that they are really
in business. Check before you give information or money to anyone.
The Internet is a good place to do business.
If you shop in the mall, you have to be aware of scammers selling you designer knockoffs, bait
and switch sales or thieves who earn a living by stealing your wallet. With online financial transactions
you need to watch out for the same scammers in their online versions.
been around as long as history has been recorded. The only difference
with online crooks is that they have come up with some new disguises
to fool their victims.
Before you give any identifying information
to someone you don't know... find out who they are and make sure that they are who they claim
If a stranger walked up to you on the street
and promised to get you a good rate on a credit card if you just gave them your wallet... would
you? Think of a strange Web site as someone you don't know and think before you reveal anything
that they may use to steal from you - or worse - to steal your identity.
Web resources to Internet Scams:
Chiff.com Directory Editorial Staff