Phishing !!!!

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Since 01-16-05

From: []
Sent: Sunday, January 16, 2005 8:09 AM
To: undisclosed-recipients:
Subject: Phishing !!!!


Q. What is phishing?

A. If you've ever received an urgent e-mail message about your account at a bank you don't use, you've probably been phished.

Phishing, as it has come to be known, is the practice of sending counterfeit e-mail messages that seem to be from an official source as bait in the hope that the recipient will supply personal information to a Web site.

But the site the recipient is directed to is also fraudulent, and exists to collect information from unsuspecting visitors. Any information supplied is snapped up and typically used for illegal purposes. In short, phishing is a form of attempted identity theft.

Because they use forged e-mail and Web addresses and realistic graphics pilfered from legitimate Web sites, phishing messages can look convincing. Many people have typed personal information like Social Security numbers, bank account passwords, credit and debit card information and other sensitive data into these rogue Web sites only to find - after unauthorized transactions showed up on bills - that they had been victims of scams.

Skepticism is one of the strongest defenses against a phishing attempt. Messages from banks you don't use are obviously false, but also be suspicious of mail from senders claiming to be your bank or a large e-commerce company like eBay or PayPal.

Some phishers have even tried to pass themselves off as representatives of Internet providers in an attempt to collect personal information.

If you have any doubts, call your financial institution or service provider at the number listed on a monthly bill or credit-card statement.

Antispam software, a privacy program or specialty software like Webroot's PhishNet program (in the testing stage and available at can also help protect you from those who want to steal your identity.
YNCS Don Harribine, USN(ret)