Prevent Identity Theft Via Phishing

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Let's talk emails. You get the cute ones from friends , the important ones from work and family and then you get the ones that are disguised. These emails are set up to fool you and convince you to give information that sets you up for a fall. Possibly for identity theft.

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These emails are a true threat. They come from sites you use and seem to be very plausible. The most important thing you need to know is NEVER trust an email that asks you for your password. That seems pretty obvious.

But what about an email that gives you your user name and asks you to click a link to verify your account is valid or still active? You click the link and another window opens with a sign-on screen. Everything looks right. But is it?

Never use a sign-on page where a link is provided. If you aren't paying attention you might not realize you are on a fabricated page. For example: lets say you got an email from Yahoo to verify your account by clicking on a link and signing on. You click on the link and go to a Yahoo URL. But the extension of the URL is UK or FM or something else. It isn't Yahoo.com.

This tactic is called "phishing" and is pretty popular. If you get an email that looks legit but you just aren't sure the safest thing to do is go to the website yourself, don't use the link in the email. Actually open a browser and type in the website. Login like you normally would. If nothing seems amiss, get a CONTACT link and send the website a message asking if they sent the email. Some sites have special email addresses for you to forward bogus emails. Three that I use frequently are : spoof@ebay.com, spoof@paypal.com and phishing@yahoo.com.

Always second guess emails that you aren't expecting from sites you normally use. That's safest way to go. Happy surfing.

By suntydt from Tazewell TN

April 12, 20100 found this helpful

I also get similar e mails, one was claiming to be from my own bank, which I knew it wasn't because of the content of the email. Whenever I receive anything like that, I go into the real website and look for their email that is for their bogus e mails and I immediately forward the fraudulent email to them or I call them for their address. My ISP also has their own fraud department so I send it there also. I also send to the following email addresses - spam@uce.gov and phishing-report@us-cert.gov. LI Roe

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April 12, 20100 found this helpful

spam@uce.gov

abuse@msn.com

abuse@hotmail.com

Report_spam@msn.com

Report_spam@hotmail.com

spoof@paypal.com

I was also told to look at the email address & send a copy of it to whatever email service it came from. I have hotmail and all I do in my inbox is right click on the email heading and click on "view message source" and it will open the email with the full info on who sent the email. Then I copy and paste it to a new email to send to whoever. That way they have the tracking info and can trace it back to who REALLY sent it.

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April 15, 20100 found this helpful

Thanks for this timely tip - folks phish via telephone as well. A good rule of thumb is, never ever give out personal info unless you've initiated the contact, and even then, be wary. Sometimes it's better to be poor - the phishing phone call hubby fell for probably only got the caller a ton of rejection letters, since all his credit is maxed out and his credit score isn't great to begin with.

btw, I tried several times to tell him NOT to give all that info, but to get a return number to check and call... sigh.

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