Are cyber-criminals "phishing" your identity from your computer?Written by Anti Spam League
Phishing (definition) (FISH.ing) pp. Creating a replica of an existing web page or HTML email input form to fool a user into submitting personal, financial, or password data. —adj. Today phishing seems to be one of most serious new scams on Internet. Now hackers and spamming companies not only bother you with thousands of unwanted emails each day but also, you might be victim of a phishing attack! Phishing refers to activity by hackers who simulate a legitimate organization and use e-mails to persuade people to share their personal and private financial data. No, this is not a bad joke: phishing attacks involve mass distribution of "spoofed" email messages with return addresses, links, and branding which appear to come from well known banks, insurance agencies, retailers or credit card companies. The result of these scams is that consumers suffer credit card fraud, identity theft, and financial loss.
So what’s deal here? Well, for starters, to most Internet users emails and web sites are indistinguishable from legitimate business communications. Secondly, trusted sources reveal that by hijacking brands of well-known banks, online retailers and credit card companies, phishers are able to induce up to 5% of recipients to respond to them. How far can these unscrupulous companies and individuals get? Farther than most of us would think. Last Nov. 8, a man in Sydney, Australia, was imprisoned for more than five years for duping people into sending him millions of dollars in a global Internet ruse known as Nigerian scam. He presented himself as someone who needed access to a Western bank account in order to transfer a large sum of money out of a politically troubled country. Criminals taking part in Nigerian scam would then promise innocent email recipients a share of money, but ask for a smaller upfront cost - in concept of an ‘administration fee’ - before larger sum can be transferred. This way they make millions! Although this man pleaded guilty at Sydney Court, chances are it will take much more than one guilty man imprisoned to get this problem under control.
According to APWG’s Phishing Attack Trends Report (July 2004), most targeted industry sector for phishing attacks continues to be Financial Services, both from perspective of total attacks and number of companies targeted. Retail is second, whereas ISPs are third. Citibank seems to be company whose brand was hijacked most often by phishers. Some other recent phishing targets include AOL, Suntrust, Earthlink, Wells Fargo, MBNA, Charlotte's Bank of America, Paypal, Fleet, Best Buy and eBay.
Although United States is top country in terms of total number of hosted phishing web sites, other nations engaging in phishing attacks include Russia, UK, Mexico and many Asian countries such as South Korea, China and Taiwan – among others. APWG’s report indicates that that approximately 35% of phishing web sites are hosted on exploited machines, unbeknownst to their owners. Because they are fake, phishing web sites normally do not have a long life span. The average life span for both phishing and fraud sites, measured by how long they continue to respond with content, does not go beyond a week.
Lotto's - It is all about trust, and honesty !Written by Gino Harteel
This week I received e-mails from a lady who participated in match 5 competition, match 5 competition is behind link "Win 1000£" on VWD website.
The lady believed she had won a much larger price but she had questions and doubts, and as we started communicating more intense it became clear she had mixed up match 5 competition with another email which she received from a not so honest person telling and faking to her she had won over 55000 £ (use currency converter http://www.xe.net/ucc to calculate this amount into your own currency).
Of course she was happy, down side was, she had to pay first 890£ (a lot of money) to claim her prize and that's how she started to ask me questions to me about this, and it became crystal clear she was being scammed, person who had send her email telling her she had won over 55000 £ had only one reason, to collect 890 £ from her for so called transaction costs and then disapear to be never heard from again.
I don't have to tell you how happy this lady was she hasn't been scammed for 890 £, she was actually going to go to bank to transfer this money and hoping to collect her UK Lotto winnings of over 55000 £.