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The scammers also started to use more sophisticated technologies in recent months. The latest generation of phishing scammers uses several methods to trick users, including pop-up graphics to mast true web URL of phishing site and installation of Spywares and Trojans on victimís computer. The perpetrators also take advantage of security bugs in web browsers, in which URL in address bar appears to be for one site but is, in fact, a link to a totally different site.
A new Windows worm under name "Korgo" is able to infiltrate into victimís system with a key logging Trojan, steal information that victim input in web forms and secretly transmit to designated server. There are a number of variants of this worm and they are spreading rapidly. However, Microsoft in April came up with a patch to seal this glitch. Many computers without patch are still vulnerable to this potentially dangerous worm.
A U.S. Treasury report provides consumers with steps to prevent and report phishing scams:
- Do not respond to or open any e-mail that warns that an account is about to be closed. Contact company directly by phone and inquire of this e-mail.
- Do not submit financial information unless there is a symbol for a locked padlock on browser's status bar. Also look for https:// at beginning of Web address. If both of these signs are absent, Web site is not secure.
- Always review your bank statement and credit card statements immediately upon receipt.
- Verify domestic telephone number listed on Web site through directory assistance or other reliable sources and call number. Many phishing attacks have originated outside U.S. and don't have a domestic number.
- Report suspicious activity or if you have been defrauded to FTC and FBI.
- Phishing e-mails can be forwarded to email@example.com. Complaints can be filed at www.ftc.gov. Phishing attacks can also be reported to Internet Fraud Complaint Center at www.ifccfbi.gov.
Other cautionary measures you should take in order to protect yourself are:
- Since most of phishing emails come through spam, get a spam filter and install on your computer.
- If you suspect a phishing attempt, report immediately to bank. Every bank web site has a link or a toll-free number to report scams. Don't be ashamed if you were tricked into divulging account information. If you report it immediately, your account will be protected until you receive a new PIN.
- Change your password and PINs regularly. Banks advise that you use separate PINs and passwords for different accounts, that way if one gets compromised, your entire financial life wonít be revealed. - If you are a frequent user of EBay, download its Web browser toolbar, a small program that runs with a user's Web browser. It flashes red when user visits a possible spoof site. The toolbar uses a database of spoof site URLs, submitted by customers and is updated quite often.
- Check your computer frequently for possible Trojan virus.
Nowshade Kabir is the founder, primary developer and present CEO of Rusbiz.com. A Ph. D. in Information Technology, he has wide experience in Business Consulting, International Trade and Web Marketing. Rusbiz is a Global B2B Emarketplace with solutions to start and run online business. You can contact him at mailto:nowshade[at]rusbiz.com, http://ezine.rusbiz.com/newsletters/newsletter33.htm