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Identity Theft Scams On The Internet

According to the computer software company Microsoft, one of the biggest identity theft scams today is the phishing scam. Phishing scams are a huge concern of web merchants simply because they cause people to have even less faith in online transactions. 

Phishing sounds like fishing, but what they are doing is “phishing for fools” by email. It is a type of email deception designed to steal your valuable personal data, such as credit card numbers, passwords, account data, or other important information that can used to steal your identity. 

A phishing ring is usually technologically very sophisticated. The fraudsters send millions of people fraudulent email messages that appear to come from a trusted web site such as a credit card company, Paypal or a bank. In these email a crisis of some sort is usually created, such as a concern that you are a victim of fraud or that your password is expiring, in order to obtain your password and account number. 

The emails and pop up windows are often superb works of technology and art and very often look like they are from the real thing. They often include official looking logos and other identifying information. These emails often also include a realistic looking link that takes you a website that looks almost identical to the website you usually go to.  These are known as spoofed websites. 

Once you are at the spoofed website you may be asked for all kinds of information. On the website or in the emails itself you may get all kinds of threats urging your to act as in “You must verify your account immediately” or “If you don’t respond within 48 hours your account will be closed.” Another indication that it is a fake email is a window that pops up that allows you access to your account or a heading that does not mention you by name as in “Dear Valued Customer.” 

Your best course of action is to not respond to these emails at all and inform the customer support department of your website of the requests for information.

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