Before you spend that money, let's talk about history.

Written by Kathy Burns-Millyard

Have you noticed all ofrepparttar advertisements onrepparttar 105803 Internet from "gurus" and people who have "made it" with their Internet business? You knowrepparttar 105804 ones, they tell you how in demand they are. They tell you how they get several thousand dollars for each seminar they give. They tell you how they've made hundreds of thousands of dollars online. And they tell you they'll give you their secrets and formulas forrepparttar 105805 "ridiculously low price of $99.95"!

These characters are all really slick. Their one page web site is designed to draw you in, convince you, and take your hard earned money. Some of them are written really well andrepparttar 105806 product is very tempting to buy. But does a little doubt linger somewhere atrepparttar 105807 back of your mind? Is there something holding you back but you just can't quite put your finger on it? There might be a valid reason for that.

Let's travel through history a bit and see if we can figure out why you get those tiny doubts....

Orson Wells. Heard of him? War ofrepparttar 105808 Worlds. Heard of that? I think almost anyone inrepparttar 105809 U.S. knows both names, but for amusement I'll summarizerepparttar 105810 story. The War ofrepparttar 105811 Worlds was a fiction radio story. I think it was broadcast inrepparttar 105812 1940's or 1950's era but I don't rememberrepparttar 105813 exact date. This story happened to be science fiction, and happened to involve aliens landing on Earth and starting a war. Nowrepparttar 105814 story was put on in full production mode -- just likerepparttar 105815 fiction movies you see on TV today with professional actors. The only problem is, many people tuned intorepparttar 105816 radio show while it was in progress, and they had no idea it was a fictional story! Panic and chaos ensued.

Jump torepparttar 105817 1960's era. Did you know there was a book that was put on to best seller lists, even thoughrepparttar 105818 book didn't actually exist? Yep. A radio DJ cooked up a plot to "fool" some people. He arranged to have listeners go to bookstores and request a specific book. The book didn't actually exist, and this was part ofrepparttar 105819 prank. To his and his listener's surprise: Their requests for this book stirred up interest acrossrepparttar 105820 world. People were talking aboutrepparttar 105821 book everywhere -- reviews were even written about it! And soon enough it showed up on a bestseller list. Butrepparttar 105822 book did not even exist. The non-existent book was called "I' Libertine", and due torepparttar 105823 furor created fromrepparttar 105824 prank,repparttar 105825 radio DJ went on to write a real book by that name later in life.

Now let's jump ahead about 30 years. Inrepparttar 105826 1990's, some of you may remember computer communities called a "BBS". BBS stands for bulletin board system, and back then this was a computer that you dialed in to. Once connected, you could download files, chat with other members and play games. The public Internet was not available back then, so this was as close as you could get. One BBS was having a difficult time getting itself offrepparttar 105827 ground. They had one major competitor, and they couldn't seem to win customers away from that competitor. Sorepparttar 105828 owners decided to enticerepparttar 105829 customers. The customers were almost 100% male back then, and one thing they were all looking for was a friendly female. So one ofrepparttar 105830 owners ofrepparttar 105831 new BBS -- a man -- took on a BBS personality of a female. They set up a charade basically, with allrepparttar 105832 trimmings. This man would pretend to be female and chat with allrepparttar 105833 guys onrepparttar 105834 competitor's BBS. Duringrepparttar 105835 chats, "she" would make sure they all understood that she could be found more often on this other, newer BBS. So, if they wanted to talk to her more, they would have to go over there. And they did.

Are cyber-criminals "phishing" your identity from your computer?

Written by Anti Spam League

Phishing (definition) ( 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 ofrepparttar most serious new scams onrepparttar 105802 Internet. Now hackers and spamming companies not only bother you with thousands of unwanted emails each day but also, you might berepparttar 105803 victim of a phishing attack! Phishing refers torepparttar 105804 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 involverepparttar 105805 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’srepparttar 105806 deal here? Well, for starters, to most Internet usersrepparttar 105807 emails and web sites are indistinguishable from legitimate business communications. Secondly, trusted sources reveal that by hijackingrepparttar 105808 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 asrepparttar 105809 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 inrepparttar 105810 Nigerian scam would then promiserepparttar 105811 innocent email recipients a share ofrepparttar 105812 money, but ask for a smaller upfront cost - inrepparttar 105813 concept of an ‘administration fee’ - beforerepparttar 105814 larger sum can be transferred. This way they make millions! Although this man pleaded guilty atrepparttar 105815 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),repparttar 105816 most targeted industry sector for phishing attacks continues to be Financial Services, both fromrepparttar 105817 perspective of total attacks andrepparttar 105818 number of companies targeted. Retail is second, whereas ISPs are third. Citibank seems to berepparttar 105819 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.

Althoughrepparttar 105820 United States isrepparttar 105821 top country in terms ofrepparttar 105822 total number of hosted phishing web sites, other nations engaging in phishing attacks include Russia,repparttar 105823 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.

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