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How to Spot Internet Phishing Scams

Sep 15, 2008
Internet phishing scams are used to get people to give up their private and personal information. This is done so that hackers, or "phishers," can take peoples money and other information or property. Identifying such scams is not difficult to do; only basic information is needed to recognize them.

Phishing websites often try to build basic profiles on its visitors in order to match their data with other data later. An example is, websites asking for your login and password, and other information such as your gender, first, and last name, and a working email address. A visitor may be requested to enter in other such personal data such as, social security numbers, bank card and account numbers, your personal identification number, or PIN, and more. A phishing website could attempt to look like the real thing by giving an "error" screen after logging in saying the password was typed incorrectly, making people think that only a legit website would recognize that the password is wrong. If you re-type your login information it only validates it for the phisher.

These phishing websites that are attempting to appear legitimate may use IP address numbers as their own address with a real company name inserted at the end of the IP address. These fake websites also attempt to look like anther website that is authentic by using different spellings in the URL. The also add of subtract symbols into the fake URL. Password reset services can be given by a phishing website in order to find out the current password that someone is using for a certain bank or company. They can also link account names, and individuals to these passwords. A login ID may be asked for as well as an array of other information to link passwords to.

These are ways internet phishing websites can trick you. There are other things to be used to safeguard you from the harmed cause by them. Closely exploring web browser address bars may be able to help you to determine spoof websites from the real ones. When you have doubts, you can open a new browser page and type in a known address for the website you are trying to get in order to minimize the chances that you will be scammed.

Also people who receive urgent emails should try to remember that as many as 97 percent of emails sent are spam or phishing attempts. Reading over these emails a few times will help to identify their legitimacy. Ask yourself these questions, "Why is the requested information urgent?" Would my bank or financial institution ask for such data through a bulk email, let alone through a directly sent email? In most cases, legitimate institutions don't function in this way. This is because they most likely already have all the information about their customers that they could possibly need.
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