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English: Depicting phishing of information fro...

English: Depicting phishing of information from a computer. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Part Two: Common Scams that Oldie Newbies should look out for.

Yesterday I talked about A Con Game.

Today let’s look at

PHISHING.

Confidence games are old, but the internet has made it possible not only for the old con games to flourish, but for new, more technically challenging, games to begin.  Phishing is when you receive a request for information through an e-mail or other sort of online contact. 

In addition to preying on greed and loneliness, con artists also prey on fear.  Phishing is successful because the person doing it creates a sense of urgency in the “mark.”  In the world of scams, the “mark” is the victim who will soon, if he or she is not careful about internet security , be parted from their money.

Those who are phished often do not even know that anything has happened because it all occurs so suddenly.   As  I discussed in the previous chapter, it usually starts with an e-mail that is very urgent.  Your bank account has been frozen.  All your checks have bounced.  They believe that someone is using your account.  Can you verify your password?

In some cases, the phishing can be for other information instead of a password.  They may look for your social security number and birthday.  With this information, they can open up accounts in your name.  I saw one email that said that you can get 10 percent interest on your Paypal balance if you just filled out a form.  Of course, the first three things that they asked for is name, birthday and social security number. 

Never give out information to anyone who contacts you by email.  Even if it is someone you know, you should never give out this information.  You never know if their account has been compromised and someone is using it to phish for information from others on their email list.  

If you get a request that you believe is phishing from your bank or other secure site, you should forward the request to the site as long as you have virus protection on your computer.  You should never open up an email from someone you do not know if you do not have virus protection on your computer.  Virus protection is part of your internet security.

Yesterday I said, “Never give anyone money.”  Today I am recommending that you

Never give information to anyone who contacts you by email.  

When we make serious business accounts we have to give those companies 

English: Frame of an animation by the U.S. Fed...

English: Frame of an animation by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/conline/ecards/phishing/index.html intended to educate citizens about phishing tactics. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

our information so that they can check us out, but they won’t contact you by email at first.  You will have to sign up on their website.

So if anybody contacts you by email and wants your information,

Don’t Give It To Them.  Have you got it?  I sure hope so.  Stay Safe.

Wishing you the best of luck.

Fred Horstman

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