Find Out What Is Phishing & How it Affects People

by Kelly Hunter - Date: 2007-11-25 - Word Count: 515 Share This!

A certain saying claims that crime does not pay but the behavior of the criminals involved in such crimes shows otherwise. You find a number of these criminals involved in different types of crimes of one nature or the other over a long period of time. The different types of crimes being committed often vary in their nature and the ingenuity of the people who hatch these schemes. With each new technology meant to counteract the effects of crimes, you find criminals who develop devious means in order to circumvent the various measures that were designed to keep them out. The internet is one are of technology that criminals have also invaded and which they now stake their claim. Billions of dollars are lost annually to Internet crime and time and over again people keep falling for these same scams that deprive them of their money. Phishing is one such crime that has come to light in recent times and to protect yourself you should understand what it is all about.

Phishing sound similar to "fishing" and in actual fact the former term has something to do with the latter. Scammers send out a lot of mails just the way a fisherman casts out various nets. A few of such mails will get victims just the way a few of the nets that fishermen cast will catch fish. If you follow the logic this way you'll understand the basic logic behind the scourge that criminals call phishing. The email you get will most likely have something to do with one financial institution or other. It may have something to do with your PayPal account being blocked or charges on your Bank of America credit card. These scammers will ask you to click on a link and go to a website (that really looks like the PayPal or Bank of America website but is actually a copied fake, there for the sole purpose of defrauding you) and ask you to enter your login information and password details. When you do this those details get recorded by these scammers and they can use it to steal the money in your account quite easily.

Phishing can cost you a lot if you aren't careful and when we say a lot we mean a whole lot. Sometimes phishing isn't all about stealing your money. Sometimes these criminals steal your personal details such as your Social Security numbers and use it to cause havoc in all sorts of ways. They'll impersonate you and apply for loans or take out new credit cards in your name. At the end of the day you could be stuck with a huge bill and a ruined credit score that will take ages to repair.

Protecting yourself from phishing will take some vigilance on your part. Always scrutinize email that comes into your email box and check for misspelled website names as this may be fake websites. You should also provide good antivirus technology that comes with antiphishing capabilities as this will protect you from the more common scams out there.

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