Computer Crime Research Center


Phishing scams

Date: January 23, 2006

You have probably heard about identity theft, in which people steal other people's personal information to use for illegal purposes.

In a new scheme called "phishing," ID thieves trick people into providing their Social Security numbers, financial account numbers, pin numbers, mother's maiden name and other personal information by pretending to be someone they're not.

Two of the biggest schemes going around right now involve eBay and Paypal. Both of these companies are very good companies, but ID thieves are using these companies' names to try to get your information by sending you fake e-mails that say something like "your account is getting ready to expire and you need to re-verify your account information" or "your account has been compromised, please re-enter your information."

Then when you enter your information, the thieves turn around and use it to open accounts in your name and charge up large amounts of bills and leave them for you to deal with when the bill collection companies catch up to you.
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