Computer Crime Research Center


Phishing again

Date: December 18, 2006

It looks like an e-mail from your bank, or some other business you know. But it's actually a fake. A carefully crafted e-mail designed to scam you out of your private information.
They're e-mails that look legitimate from companies like Wells Fargo Bank, Citibank, and E-bay. But they're bogus. One from the online payment service Paypal is typical.

It says "your Paypal billing information records are out of date." And there's a link to click "to update your billing records." Then you're asked to provide your credit-card information and password.

Lieutenant John Gould -- of the Computer Crime Task Force -- investigates scams like these, says don't fall for them.

"They will either open up bank accounts. They'll apply for charge cards in your name. They'll change the address so in most cases it will be two to three months before you realize that these charges have been made," Lieutenant Gould said.

Consumer Reports says victims are losing more than ever in these so-called phishing scams.

"Our latest survey finds the median cost per victim is $850 dollars. That's five times what it was just a year ago," Consumer Reports' Kim Kleman said.
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