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Answered 2011-12-27 17:13:07

Phishing is when someone tries to trick you, by phone or through the internet, into providing personal information that can be used for various illegal activities.

You should protect your personal information from unauthorized use.

Information such as address, date of birth, credit card numbers, passwords, bank accounts, and family information should only be provided to persons known by you to be officially authorized to receive this data. Preferably, the asking individual should be asked to provide it from their records if confirmation is needed, and then only confirmed if it is correct. No reputable agency or company will ask for personal information in a non-secure environment.

Phishing scams commonly offer some irresistibly valuable service, or reward, or benefit, in order to lure victims into visiting websites or running programs that will generate information that can be used in fraud or identity theft. Sometimes they will "spoof" (imitate) legitimate sites and agencies to trick recipients.

Such trickery often starts through e-mails, or online conversations in blogs, chat rooms, or instant messages. You should never respond to requests for information from unknown persons.

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