I might be in "big" trouble. Because someone persons hacked into my email box. I don't know who they are. But I am worried. No; scared. Because I know its implications. And these may be far reaching—even, incriminating. And I may just be visited, any day from now, by Interpol or local police. And arrested—like one of my unfortunate friends—for any of dozen or so cyber crimes.
But know this. I will not be arrested for denial-of-service attacks. Neither will it be for credit card hijacks. Nor downloading my MP3 songs into NASA's computers. Nor even—every hackers dream—gaining access into Pentagons secret files. And to find out if "Area 51" exists.
My arrest and exit from civilization would be quick and without a murmur. And not in a blaze of glory and media buzz. Like Kevin Mitnick's, a former prima hacker. But with ingloriousness and stigma which follows a scam artist. Like some bogus Nigerian prince.
This situation which I find myself, however, is not an isolated case. Because I am just one of many victims of identity theft. Which according to one FBI comment is "hottest, and most troubling, new scam on Internet."
I might call myself lucky. Because I found out soon—I checked my e-mail, only to find scam mails sent from it, much to my horror. But there are those not so fortunate. And these had to wait months, or even years, before they found out that some miscreant was using their name as a front.
Some because of this have lost their credit card privileges, loans, houses and jobs. Or in some cases, arrested for crimes they did not commit. Life can't possibly be this unfair? But it is. Because dishonesty of others may rub off on you.
Dishonesty is an art. And spammers have gotten so artful. Gone are days when you worried about simple spam mail. Though annoying, these were easily detectable. That was past. Now, your worries are greater—the mails are not easily detectable. So good are these counterfeits, replete with links and genuine looking logos of bonafide outfits like eBay, that many customers are deceived into parting with their credit card and social security details. And name of this new actor in our cyber sitcom? Phishing mail.