Phishing is defined as the practice of luring unsuspecting
Internet users to a fake Web site by using authentic-looking email
with the real organization's logo, look and feel, in an attempt to
steal login information, or financial information. Phishing can
even introduce a virus attack.
For example, you may receive an e-mail that appears to be from
eBay claiming that your account is about to be suspended unless
you clicked on the provided link and updated your credit card
information. Because it is relatively simple to make a Web site
look like a legitimate organizations site, the scam counts on
people being tricked into updating their account information. By
spamming large groups of people, the “phisher” counts on the
e-mail being read by a percentage of people who actually have
listed credit card numbers with eBay legitimately.
How to Identify a Phishing Scam
At first glance, it may not be obvious to the
recipients that what is in their inbox is not a legitimate e-mail.
The "From" field of the e-mail may have the .com address of the
company mentioned in the e-mail, and the clickable link may also
appear to be taking you to the company's Web site. This is not the
case and you will be taken to a spoof Web site. This email
screenshot below is an example of a well designed and convincing
1. The "From Field" appears to be from the
legitimate company mentioned in the e-mail. It is important to
note, however, that it is very simple to change the "from"
information in any e-mail client.
2. The e-mail contains the company logo and images that have been
taken from the Web site of the company mentioned in the scam
3. The e-mail will contain a clickable link with text suggesting
you use the inserted link to validate your information. In the
image you will see that once the hyperlink is highlighted, the
bottom left of the screen shows the real Web site address to which
you will go. Note that the hyperlink is not HTTPS protected and
will not point to the legitimate Ebay Web site URL.
Who is at Risk?
The people behind phishing e-mails are scam artists. They send out
millions of these scam e-mails hoping that even a few recipients
will act on them and provide their personal and financial
information. Anyone with an e-mail address is at risk of being
phished. Any e-mail address that has been made public on the
Internet (posting in forums, newsgroups, or on a Web site) is more
susceptible to phishing as the e-mail address can be saved by
spiders that search the Internet and grab as many e-mail addresses
as they can.
With the increase in the number of attempts to victimize customers
by creating Web sites that imitate those of legitimate businesses
in an attempt to steal information about credit cards, online
banking, etc., Anonymizer Anonymous Surfing has developed a real
time anti-phishing feed that integrates into your Web browser to
block fraudulent sites. Updated every fifteen minutes, real time
analysis identifies and blocks phishing sites, and automatically
sends a warning page to the customer which notifies them that they
are being led to a phishing page.
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