Cyber Crooks Go "Phishing"

Written by Jim Edwards

"Phishing,"repparttar latest craze among online evil-doers, has nothing to do with sitting atrepparttar 127546 end of a dock on a sunny afternoon dangling a worm to entice hungry catfish.

But, if you take their bait, this new breed of online con artist will hook you, reel you in, and take you for every dollar you have... or worse.

"Phishing" describes a combination of techniques used by cyber crooks to bait people into giving up sensitive personal data such as credit card numbers, social security numbers, bank account numbers, dates of birth and more.

Their techniques work so well that, according to, "phishing" rates asrepparttar 127547 fastest growing scam onrepparttar 127548 Internet.

Here'srepparttar 127549 basic pattern for a "phishing" scam...

You receive a very official email that appears to originate from a legitimate source, such as a bank, eBay, PayPal, a major retailer, or some other well known entity.

Inrepparttar 127550 email it tells you that something bad is about to happen unless you act quickly.

Typically it tells you that your account is about to get closed, that someone appears to have stolen your identity, or even that someone opened a fraudulent account using your name.

In order to help straighten everything out, you need to click a link inrepparttar 127551 email and provide some basic account information so they can verify your identity and then give you additional details so you can help get everything cleared up.

Once you give up your information... it's all over butrepparttar 127552 crying!

After getting your information, these cyber-bandits can empty your bank accounts, deplete your PayPal accounts, run up your credit card balances, open new credit accounts, assume your identity and much worse.

An especially disturbing new variation of this scam specifically targets online business owners and affiliate marketers.

In this con,repparttar 127553 scammer's email informs you that they've just sent $1,219.43 (or a similar big but believable amount) in affiliate commissions to you via PayPal.

They need you to log into your PayPal account to verify receipt ofrepparttar 127554 money and then email them back to confirm you got it.

Since you're so excited atrepparttar 127555 possibility of an unexpected pay day, you clickrepparttar 127556 link to go to PayPal, log in, and BANG! They have your PayPal login information and can empty your account.

How to avoid being crammed

Written by David McDonough

Cramming Some consumers are being billed for telephone services they did not order. This practice is called “cramming” and it affects telephone consumers nationwide.

“Cramming” occurs when a customer receives a telephone bill, usually rendered byrepparttar local exchange company, that includes charges for products or services that he or she did not order. The charge for these services is usually between $3 and $30. However, there have been instances where “cramming” has amounted to more than $100 in additional charges.

Examples of “cramming” charges include: Charges for calls that were not made byrepparttar 127545 consumer or that were placed to toll-free numbers

Charges for services that are explained in general terms, such as “voicemail,” “paging service,” “calling plan” or “membership service”

Charges simply identified as a “monthly fee”

Why does it happen? Local telephone companies serve as billing agents for many long-distance companies and other service providers. Invalid or unclear charges occur when inaccurate billing data (either by oversight or by intent) is provided torepparttar 127546 local telephone company via computer tape. The local telephone company then bills consumers for these calls or services.

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