Identity Theft Criminals Are Phishing for Information.

Phishing Tactics and Techniques Explained

Phishing... It sounds like a strange word, and when most of us hear the word phishing we’re instantly reminded of the image of an outdoorsman in spring taking to the waters in search of trout. Phishing, however, refers to something quite different. Below you’ll learn more about this unscrupulous technique that identity theft criminals are using to commit their atrocious crimes.

What Is Phishing?

Phishing refers to the act of gathering personal and confidential information such as social security numbers by tricking someone into giving that information. Identity theft criminals use email when they are phishing. Many times the emails look totally legitimate as though they came from reputable banks or credit card companies.

They Flat Out Ask You For It

Phishing scams are sometimes pretty sophisticated, which is what actually what makes them so successful. Identity theft criminals might send mass emails out to individuals, and the email appears to be sent from the person’s financial institution. Usually the email warns of an urgent problem that needs to be addressed by having the individuals log on to the company’s website. The only problem is that the website is fake but looks like the real thing. Customers will enter their password or social security information, and the identity theft criminals will have all the information they need.

Trust No One

In order to reduce your susceptibility to phishing scams, you should take the following precautions. If you receive an email from a bank, first make sure it actually is a bank you deal with. Sometimes the emails are for just one financial institution, and the identity theft criminals count on the fact that at least some of the individuals they send emails to will also use that bank. If the email is, in fact, from your financial institution then go ahead and call that company. Banks never ask customers to provide passwords or personal information via email. If the email happens to be legitimate, there is nothing that can be fixed by email or online that you can’t fix over the phone or in person at your bank.

If you get suspicious emails, be on the lookout for spelling or grammatical errors. That would be a red flag that the email is not legitimate. Keep in mind, however, that just because an email looks real doesn’t mean it is not part of a phishing scam.

Comments

Internet Explorer 7 has some ID theft prevention features, built into their "phishing filter". I just downloaded it, and haven't learned everything about it, and am pretty sure most of it's features are to help you "feel" protected, but there seem to be a few useful functions in it as well. I think in this day and age, we all need as much help as we can get!

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