TEXT – 056 – NO PISHING ALLOWED

Hi peeps, Ruan over here.  

I’m really glad to be here once again updating our 329th post at VPFI!

How to spot a predatory credit card - MarketWatch

NO PISHING ALLOWED

Nowdays, most people realize that it’s risky to use credit card numbers online. However, from time to time, we all use passwords and government ID numbers on the internet. We think we are safe, but that may not be true! A new kind of attack is being used by dishonest people to steal IDs and credit card numbers from innocent websufers. This new kind of attack is called “phishing”.

Phishing sounds the same as the word “fishing”, and it implies that the thief is trying to lure people into giving away valuable information. Like real fishermen, phishers use bait in the form of great online deals or services, for example, phishers might use fake emails and false websites to con people into revealing credit card numbers, account usernames, and password. They imitate well-known banks, online sellers, and credit card companies. Successful phisers may convince as many five percent of the people they contact to respond and give away their personal financial information.

Is this really a big problem? Actually, tricking five percent of the online population os huge! Currently, more than 350 million people have access to the Internet, and seventy-five percent of those Internet Users live in the wealthiest countries on Earth. It has been estimated that phisers send more then three billion scam messages each year. Even by tricking only five percent of the people, phishers can make a lot of money.

Since there is so much money to make through this kind of scam, it has caught the interest of more then junt small-time crooks. Recently, police tracked down members of an organized phishing group in Eastern Europe, who had stolen hundrends of thousands of dollars from people online. The group created official-looking email messages requesting people to update their personal information at an international bank’s website. However, he link to the bank in the message actually sent people to the phishers’ fake website. To make matters worse, further investigation revealed that this group had connections to a major crime gang in Russia.

How can innocent people protect themselves? Above all, they have to learn to recognize email that has been sent by a phisher. Always be wary of any email with urgent request for a personal financial information. Phishers typically write upsetting or excting, but fake, statements in their emails so that people will reply right away. Also, messages from phishers will not address recipients by name because they really don’t know who the recipients are yet. On the other hand, valid messages from your bank or other companies you normally deal with will typicaally include your name.

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