Phishing = Identity Theft

    Phishing is the act of sending an e-mail to a user falsely claiming to be an established legitimate enterprise in an attempt to scam the user into surrendering private information that will be used for identity theft. The e-mail directs the user to visit a web site where they are asked to update personal information, such as passwords, credit card, social security, and bank account numbers, that the legitimate organization already has. The Web site, however is bogus and set up only to steal the user’s information. These web sites look official with realistic logos and design. For example, we have recently seen a proliferation of a phishing scam in which users received e-mails supposedly from eBay claiming that the user’s account was about to be suspended unless he clicked on the provided link and updated the credit card information that the genuine eBay already had.    

    Some items to remember    

    It is not safe to enter personal or financial information into pop-up windowsCheck with the institution in question to be sure this is a legitimate request 

    Most Phishing e-mails do not use your name. They often say “Dear Valued Customer”- a clear warning.        

    Run anti-spyware software and keep it current. SpySweeper and CounterSpy are good ones    

    Run antivirus software. Although antivirus software can’t prevent you from opening fraudulent e-mail, it can help stop any viruses that may result.