Phishing is a term that you have probably heard before if you have been around the Internet for any length of time. Scam artists will use the Internet to collect your personal information to wipe you out financially. This is usually done by sending you a fraudulent email and requesting that you click on a link to verify your personal information. Once you click on the the link, you are taken to a spoof website. If you supply the requested information such as, social security numbers, bank account numbers or credit card numbers, get ready to kiss your money goodbye.
These scam artists have become very accomplished at the phishing game. They are able to duplicate company logos and website so that it is very difficult to tell the real from the fake. This article will give you a few helpful pointers on how to know if someone is phishing for you.
Be very wary of any emails that you receive claiming to be from a financial institution. You may think that you can spot a scam by looking at the "from" line in the email. This is not so. It is very easy to copy a "from" line that looks like the real thing. Never depend on the "from" line to validate a legitimate email.
Most phishing emails will have a generic greeting. Emails that are not addressed to you personally should always raise a red flag. Be very wary, especially if the email wants you to click on a link to be redirected to another website.
Another big indicator of a phishing email is one that states something like "you must take action now or risk having your account closed." The scammers want to create a sense of urgency to get you to act quickly before you have time to think about it. 99.9% of emails that contains a sense of urgency are phishing emails.
The phishing emails will usually contain a link that takes you to a false website. This is where they want you to update your information by providing your social security number, account numbers or other identifying information. Once this is collected, the scam artist can gain access to your life. He will be able to obtain credit in your name, wipe out your bank accounts and do pretty much anything else he wants to do. The havoc that he causes in a few short weeks can take years to recover from.
The big lesson here is to never trust an email from anyone that asks for personal information. Never click on a link in an email and never open an attachment from someone you don't know. Scam artists will have viruses riding piggyback on the attachment that can infect your computer or spy on you and collect personal information. Scary stuff! So before you open any email, think about the guy out there phishing for you. Don't let him catch you by surprise.
Author and internet entrepreneur Bernard Pragides offers expert advice and tips regarding identity theft.
Learn more about identity theft and fraud by visiting his blog at http://www.identity4life-blog.com and his website http://www.IdentityProtek.com for more helpful information.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Bernard_Pragides
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