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Email Phishing - What Is It?

May 7, 2008
Simply put, email phishing is a trap that has been set to catch the receiver unawares and get access for the sender to your financial information. Most of these type of email scams are easy to recognize but every day the scammers get more and more sophisticated with the emails they send out. These phishing emails, therefore, can become harder to recognize as time goes on.

Most email phishing is seen as the attempt of an individual to gain your account numbers or other personal information. This information can then be used to complete a transaction which includes them removing money from your account or stealing your identity.

One popular phishing email is the foreigner who wants to or needs to move money out of his country to the States. Feeling sorry for his plight, the generous email receipient will allow give him the information needed to access their own bank account. To tell the truth, what often precipitates this generosity is the simple fact that greed takes over for the poor foreigner will offer to pay you from the funds transferred. You might just see a small amount of money transferred to the account but the next thing you know, all you have will be removed from your account. As long as these scams have been around, some people still fall for them.

Other phishing techniques include sending an official looking email from what one is led to believe is the bank of that individual. This email is requesting that you update the personal information on the website that they have provided a link to. When you hit the link, the website that they have listed is not the website that you goes to, although it often has the same appearance of a bank website. This type of email phishing is of a much higher level of sophistication than other types and can be harder to identify. You should be aware that many, if not all, financial institutions will never request that you update your personal information via a website.

What you can do the most to help with this email phishing problem is to take action and report any email that doesn't look right. If you receive emails from anyone asking you to do something money wise that you did not request, report it to the authorities. You would much rather report a perfectly legitimate email and have made a mistake than to not have and end up losing your identity or money.
About the Author
What Is Phishing and notes to assist you avoid these scams can be found, along with articles on what to look for in a phishing scam, at http://www.antiphishingscams.com/
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