Gone Phising

Carl J Johnson By Carl J Johnson, 10th May 2013 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/2lqffiyg/
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>Web>Email

You are surfing on the Net and suddenly you get an email from your credit card Company. They tell you that your account is closed. To reopen it they need all your details, such as account number, social security and so forth. The truth is that the email is not at all from your credit card Company. It is from a hacker who tries to steel your identity.

Beware of phising

The other day I got a shot of phishing. Someone tried to make the details of my PayPal account. It was a fine-looking email that apparently came from PayPal. However, when I looked close, I could see that there was something "fishy." In the subject line indicate: "PayPal Notification: “We have suspended your account." I knew that my account with PayPal was in order, so I was just unsure. There is a new and frightening spam email. This form is phishing. Criminals use this to try to get careless users on the Internet to expose their account numbers and passwords. We assumed that this email came from the real company. If not aware of anything being wrong, the immediate instinct is to do just as the hacker asks -- to hand over all the information he or she needs to make your record. When one closes the site one sees the usual thank you information and believes that everything is OK.

What Can You Do To Protect Yourself?

What can one do to protect oneself? Do not click on the link in the email. If there is a letter from your bank, go to the normal log-in page. If the request is genuine, there will be a link on the real site to track. Banks and credit card companies always recommend their customers use the log-in page to do anything or change any information.Your bank or credit card company would never ask for personal information in an email. Please also think about how they call one in the email. Usually hackers address one more formally, because they have not gotten the correct information. For instance, the email may look like this: "Dear PayPal member."
Be also aware of what they write in the subject line. It could provide an indication of whether the email is accurate or not. Some phishing emails need to have an answer by email. Convenient as it may seem, they also include a form for gathering information. It also happens that a risky phishing hacker attaches a link to a website that seems to be like the site presumed to be visited. In fact, it is just a look-alike. One will think that it is the original site. As most Internet scams, phishing can be avoided if one knows about it. There is no reason to worry about these scams. One can, in fact, use the Internet to keep oneself from phishing in some unique ways.

Never Trust Someone You Do Not Know

Always inspect your banking and credit accounts online. Most of the banks and almost all credit companies have secure websites that provide the opportunity to look at your statements and online transactions safely. One must NEVER enter the address of a bank or credit card company through a link attached to an email. Most sure an email with a link asking for your acceptance of your personal information or of reregistering of the same is a sign of phishing. It is an attempt to steal your identity. Safe sites begin with https:// or have a little sign of a lock on your computer screen. To be sure, type the address of the bank or credit card company into your browser. Remember to check your accounts quite often. If there is a sense of suspicious activity, please immediately report such movements to your bank or credit card company.
Keep track of your credit report. One of the main reasons for stealing your identity is to create a new credit account. The reason is to buy goods and services using your name and stolen identity. If an offender has opened an account in your name, he will no doubt appear on your credit report.
One should use a credit monitoring service. There are several services available, and they can track your credit reports for activity and tell if there are any changes. They will inform about new inquiries, new accounts, late payments and criminal behavior. It is necessary to make sure who they are. No information should be handed over before that is clear. When acting on the Internet, please think of the Net as some unknown individual. Therefore, consider before giving out any information they can use to steal your identity. A little while ago I heard about an particularly severe case of identity theft. A company in Sweden, well known for many years, suddenly received claims concerning unpaid bills. Soon it was clear that it was an identity theft by thieves. They had managed to get hold of the identity information of the company. After that they just made a change of address at the authorities. At the same time, they ordered a bunch of different credit cards. Before that they set up a mailbox on a wall in the city. The thieves used the new credit cards. They bought all sorts of things. All information went to the new address, of which the owners of the company had no idea. The claims on the company had, however, landed at such gigantic proportions that the owners of the company saw no other solution than to file for a bankruptcy.

Tags

Criminals, Identity, Identity Theft, Phising

Meet the author

author avatar Carl J Johnson
Born in Turku, Finland. Now living Sweden. A criminal defence lawyer for almost 40 years. Now retired. Fond of writing and reading. Spears. Swedish, Finnish, German and English.

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Comments

author avatar David Reinstein,LCSW
10th May 2013 (#)

Crooks and scammers are everywhere. The internet is a virtual playground for them... We must all be alert to these kinds of things.

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author avatar Ellen L.
11th May 2013 (#)

I am quite familiar with these kinds of emails, I get at least two per week. And what's worse is that many people fall on their schemes and once the damage is done, they are very difficult to track down. The internet is an amazing "cyber-world", but just like our "real-world" it has dangers. And we have to keep our eyes open.

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author avatar Carl J Johnson
11th May 2013 (#)

Ellen,
You are right on two Counts.
1) We have to keep our eyes open
2) I will read your page for sure
Regards,
Carl

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