Computer Crime Research Center


Social security: phishing scam

Date: November 17, 2006
By: Jaikumar Vijayan

In a statement published on its Web site, the SSA said it has received several reports of an e-mail being circulated with the subject header of "Cost-of-Living for 2007 update." The e-mail is designed to appear as if it were from the agency and provides information about a 3.3% benefit increase for 2007. It then proceeds to ask the recipient for personal information warning that those who failed to provide it by Nov. 11 would have their accounts suspended indefinitely.

The mail contains a link to a Web site designed to look like the official one where users are asked for information such as Social Security numbers, as well as bank account and credit card information, the statement said.

"I am outraged that someone would target an unsuspecting public in this manner," SSA Commissioner Jo Anne Barnhart was quoted as saying in the release. "I have asked the Inspector General to use all the resources at his command to find and prosecute whoever is perpetrating this fraud."
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