Sunday, September 25, 2005

Phishing for information

I just want to add to the whole email scamming issue.

An internet scamming tactic that’s around has been dubbed PHISHING (pronounced fishing). Scammers will send emails claiming to be from well known corporations, linking them to fraudulent websites that looks identical to the authentic ones, such as credit card companies, banks, paypal, ebay….the list goes on. The recipients can be fooled into entering personal and financial information into the fake websites, such as passwords or credit card details for the scammers to obtain. The emails and fraudulent websites look very authentic; therefore users will not suspect a scam. Scammers use URL addresses that appear to be very similar than the originals -eg, using .com when the original site may be, or they may replace a single character with one that looks similar- so that users will not notice any difference.

However, some emails will send you to a link which opens up a ‘pop-up’ where you can not see the web address. The pop-up, which will be a fraudulent web page will ask you to enter your private information. What will fool any suspecting users is that another page will open at the same time. This second page will actually be the authentic website of the company- not a fake one, so if you look at the URL it will be genuine. This trick leads users to presume that the pop-up window is associated with the genuine website and because you can’t see the URL that the pop-up is coming from, it is difficult to suspect that it is from a scammer!

There are thousands of resources regarding Phishing on the net. Many of them provide examples and how to spot a Phishing scam. Here’s three sites that I visited, recommend taking a look for more information.

FraudWatch International

Phishing Info

It is easy to for us to say that people must be stupid to fall for internet scams. But there are thousands of people who just aren’t aware of internet scamming. Phishing is designed to fool not only the most innocent of computer users, but also the smartest and even cautious people. It’s so insane to think how people could come up with these scams, or even go to the effort of designing replica websites and emails, but it IS happening and scammers are making thousands and thousands of dollars. It’s scary to think that this is happening and people are falling for it. I think that lack of awareness about internet fraud is a major issue. More people need to be made aware of how scams, such as Phishing, are created and how they work- in order to stop internet fraud from happening.


Post a Comment

<< Home