Phishing Update from our Thursday, October 21, 2004 Bo Alert Newsletter

Bo Alert Update on Phishing

We have gotten requests for more information on Phishing Scams that we have been writing about lately. With the holidays and tons of shopping coming up we thought that a new warning and more information was not only important to our readers but critical.

Don't Get Hooked by Phishing!
Did you know that emails appearing to come from companies you trust may actually be from criminals trying to steal your money or identity? So-called 'phishing' emails have quickly become one of the most devastating scams on the Internet. Gartner estimates that 57 million U.S. adults received a 'phishing' attack email within the past year. More than half of those who responded were also victims of identity theft.

What is Phishing?
Phishing scams use 'spoofed' (faked or hoax) emails and Web sites to trick you into providing your personal and financial information. By using the trusted brands of online retailers, banks, or credit card companies, phishing scammers are able to convince 5% of recipients to respond to fraudulent schemes.

How do Phishing Scams Work? 
Phishing scams appear in a variety of formats. The most common scam is an email that looks like it's from a company with whom you may have an account. The email directs you to a 'spoofed' Web site to update your account, financial, or personal information. If you provide the information, unscrupulous people can use your data to steal your identity, purchase goods and services, or open a credit card in your name.

Some Examples:
Here are some examples of how URLs, Web pages, and browsers can be manipulated to trick the unsuspecting consumer:

            This is truly a bad one that you need to pay strict attention to.

For more on spoofing and how to tell if a site is being faked, see:

Phishing and ways to identify a fake site