There is no doubt that the internet has provided new opportunities for all of us, including those who create to deceive for their own personal gain. Below is an up to the minute list of e-mail scams currently in circulation, so make sure you check back with us to keep up to date with them.
You should always treat any request for bank or credit card details with suspicion. Banks and other financial institutions are regularly used by criminals as a cover to extract information from you, this form of fraud is called identity theft.
There are also a wide variety of e-mails claiming to be from foreign dignitaries, even royalty, who have access to millions of pounds, but for one reason or another need to place it in a bank account outside their country. You have been selected, and will be paid a commission of the millions for allowing your bank to be used.
Internet scammers are casting a new net, and going phishing. pronounced 'fishing'. Originated from the idea of throwing out lots of bait in the hope there are one or two bites. this practice is also known a 'brand spoofing' or 'carding'.
The idea is not really new, it is the high tech version of many postal and telephone scams
An e-mail is sent claiming to be from an established and usually well reputed company with the intention of deceiving the recipient into disclosing personal information that is used for identity theft.
The emails usually direct to a cloned web site, where they are asked to update passwords, credit card numbers or account details.
Companies who have been targeted are most banks, some finance/loan companies, Internet service providers AOL and Eathlink, MSN, Yahoo, E-Bay and Paypal have all fallen victims of the scams.
Always treat any request by email for personal information with suspicion, a reputable company will never ask you to update details by e-mail. Visit the company's' web site, most have warnings and details of the scams presently circulation. If you are still in doubt, send a copy of the e-mail to the company, (Do not use any links on the e-mail or the reply feature it will only go to the scammers), and ask them to confirm it is genuine.
It is estimated 20% of recipients of such e-mails are responded to, whilst the scammers are achieving such a high success rate, it is unlikely to subside, be on your guard and don't get caught in the phishing net.
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