Phishing is the term given to popular internet and email scams which rely on a malevolent user (a “phisher”) tricking an unsuspecting person into revealing sensitive information (financial information, social security numbers, etc.). Questions about phishing techniques and how to avoid being taken advantage of belong here.

1,514 Questions

Why do people phish on the internet?

It's usually an identity theft scam. The goal is to get you to log in on a fake website, which gives the phisher your user name and password. They can use that to log in at your actual account, which may give them access to other passwords, credit card numbers, bank accounts and other sensitive materials.

Phishers have some pretty tricky schemes, so you have to be very careful while surfing the Web.


How can you tell if an email is legitimate or a scam?

E-mail is a useful tool that is often misused to deceive, commit crime, or commit fraud. A scam e-mail is an e-mail that entices the recipient to do business, which will result in their being scammed. The most common scams will be for products or services that will sound "too good to be true."

The best way to identify these e-mails is to be skeptical or wary of any claims. Also pay attention to any details, fine print, or lack thereof. A scam artist will hesitate to provide complete information about himself (or herself). A scam will often try to pressure you into acting quickly to buy or sign up. A good rule of thumb is to never do business with any organization that won't give you complete information or tell you who and where it is. The common phrase is "If it sounds too good to be true, it usually is."

Common e-mail scams include

  • The Nigerian scam, which claims that a person in a third world country who has access to a large sum of money needs financial aid to move the funds to the U.S.
  • Miracle pills or products that burn lots of fat in amazingly short periods of time.
  • Job offers that will allow you to get rich quick.

E-mail is often exploited to "phish" for your personal information. The message will claim to be from a bank or credit card company that must "verify" your information. Links in the message will take you to phony but authentic-looking web pages where you are to enter your personal information. This will be used to commit identity theft or fraud in your name.

There are a few questions that you can use to identify the legitimacy of an email most of the time.First, was I expecting this email from the sender who's a friend or do I not know the sender. Viruses have the ability to send themselves to contacts on the host computers contact list. This means even if its from a friend the friend who it originated from may not even know it was sent.

Second, is there an file attached to the email or a link in the message. Attachments are usually corrupted software that carries viruses, spyware and other malware.

Third, is the message or headline is little bizzare or shocking. Chances are if either are like this then it is probably a dangerous email. Black hats or people who look for vulnerabilities and then exploit them are constantly sending emails that have shocking headlines to entise users to open the message.


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What is phishing?

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.

(see also the related links)


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Identity Theft Issues

What if your cosigning is a case of identity theft?

The identity theft has to be resolved before the co-signing can be resolved. File charges,ect get that out of the way, then work on the co-signing mess.

Credit and Debit Cards
Barack Obama

Are there any steps a consumer can take to prevent becoming a victim of a dishonest or incompetent merchant's Restocking Fee omnipotence?

Are there any steps a consumer can take to prevent becoming a victim of a dishonest or incompetent merchant's Restocking Fee omnipotence?"

Yes! begin your report here:

Best wishes

Computer Viruses
Anti-Virus Software

Can running anti-virus software help protect you from phishing scams?

Anti-virus can only protect you from the consequences of phishing scams in that if you install a virus when you fall for a scam, the anti-virus might pick up the malware. Some antivirus software will also scan executables that may be embedded in emails. Anti-virus will NOT tell you whether an email is phishing.


What are opinions on Global Reporting Network Coronado California?

Global Reporting Network on Lake Meade, Las Vegas, Nevada is a sweepstake fraudulent company. A front to rob seniors of their retirement plans by giving them false hope of winning big money that never materializes.. Just Ask my father - He got ripped for $375.00!

Social Engineering

How do you reduce the phishing risks of social engineering?

As with nearly all social engineering, the best way to reduce the risk of phishing is education, policies and procedures. Some key elements are:

1) Recognize all types of phishing emails. Many phishing emails will be address to a generic "customer" or "sir or ma'am" instead of directed to the customer by name.

2) Do not send personal information via email. There are almost always more secure ways to provide that information to a legitimate entity.

3) Confirm the identity of the sender via another method. Look up the company name and call them about the email for example. Call the number on your bill.

4) Confirm the site you send personal email to is secure before entering the information. Usually the address will start with https:// instead of just http:// and the "lock" icon should be displayed on the browser status bar

5) Do not click on links in email you receive from people you do not know

6) Resist clicking on links in email from people you DO know until you have confirmed the source of the email.

7) Use a "throw away" email address for sites that request an email address. A throw away email address will receive the spam and phishing requests and you never bother to look at it so you never get suckered by what is sent to it.

8) Never use the same password for every site that you have access to. This way if someone manages to get you to divulge the password to one site, they won't have your password to the other sites you use.

9) At no time should you ever supply your ID or password to anyone when you have received an email requesting that you do so. Certainly any reputable site such as eBay, PayPal or the bank or Credit Card Company that you deal with online will not request this kind of information from you.

There are also measures businesses can take to help protect their customers from phishing attacks such as monitoring new and existing domain registrations for addresses similar to their own legitimate site and educating their customers about phishing.

These are certainly not ALL the means to reduce the risks of phishing, but they are a good start.

Email and IM

How did you receive an email from your own email address which was obviously sent from someone fishing for sales of cheap watches - what do you do?

you ignore it and delete it

if the problem continues, scroll down to the bottom and see if it says "unsubscribe" or something like that and click then it will take you on the internet and then there should be an unsubscribe button or something


If you receive an email from your own address it does not necessarily mean that they have your password, there are ways to trick email servers into thinking that the email address is different but just in case run a virus scan on your computer THEN change your password. This is not an email marketing message so there will be no unsubscribe button and with these fraud emails you should never open or even think about clicking on links in them.

Cars & Vehicles
Computer Viruses

How has modern communication transportation and technology changed the world we live in today?

We can communicate around the world. Like if your mother visited China, you can call her from that far if you live in California.

Social Network Websites

How can you find out someone's Facebook password?

You can't find out someones password. The three most common methods are:

  • Phishing (Sending a fake email to make them give you them password)
  • Server Hack (Using an exploit on Facebook's servers to gain access to their account)
  • Brute Force (Guessing their password)

All of these are illegal and you could end up with a fine and a jail sentence. If someone isn't willing to give you their password (which should be the case), there is not much you can do about it.

Performing Arts
Concerts Tours and Music Events

What band is opening for the police tour in Montreal?

fiction plane. sting's son's band.


What represents the catch part of a phishing scam?

The catch part is a fake email for which the scamist hopes the receiver answers.

The Difference Between

What is the difference between phishing and spoofing attacks?

In spoofing, the attacker tries to obfuscate the actual origins of a message. In the context of network security, a spoofing attack is a situation in which one person or program successfully masquerades as another by falsifying data and thereby gaining an illegitimate advantage. This is often accomplished by changing the header on the message to inject a false origin address or to try to make an application display a false origin address. Sometimes an attacker may send a message with a series of false routing hops prior to their own address and then just pull in the message as it comes to them (and not forward it).

Phishing attacks may employ a variation on spoofing to deceive a user into believing that a message came from a legitimate source or that the site they are about to visit is actually the legitimate site for a legitimate business. Communications purporting to be from popular social web sites, auction sites, online payment processors or IT administrators are commonly used to lure the unsuspecting public. Phishing is sometimes referred to as "webpage spoofing". The miscreant/criminal attacker reproduces the appearance and feel of a legitimate site in order to trick the victim into entering sensitive data. The web address for the phishing site may closely resemble the legitimate site or it may include the address of the legitimate site but include code in the address to reroute the traffic to the false website.

To summarize - spoofing seeks to obscure the source of a message while phishing seeks to obscure the destination that the user is going to.

Online Shopping

How do you tell if a website is legit?

All of what Neila Rockson said is correct. Also, you may find the Web of Trust browser addon useful. Millions of users rate websites they have used, so when you open a website you are unfarmiliar with, you can look at the icon to see what other people said. Dark or light green usually mean the website is fine. Yellow or red mean you probably should not be there. This addon is in most browser-provided addon lists, but can also be found at It is not perfect, since others could be wrong, but it's a nice tool to have anyway. Just don't trust it alone--still look around to make sure the site is safe.

Internet Security and Privacy

If you receive an email from your bank which emphatically states you must verify your personal information immediately is example of?

A scam, or more precisely - "phishing". The scammers "phish" (the connotation to "fishing" is very correct) for users who will "take the bhait" and visit the scammers' web service, usually made to look indentical to that of the legitimate business they're trying to appear to be, and urge the confused user to enter his real information into their prepared web site.

That information is then commonly used to commit crimes, including monetary theft and identity hijacking/theft.

The easiest way to check if a message is a scam is to verify where it's trying to lead you to, and most importantly, to check on the actual business' web page for any attention notices. If that fails, due dilligence would ask for checking if the exact same web page (the same address and all) can be accessed through normal browsing on the business' web site. If these things are missing or problematic, a scam is very likely.

And don't worry about your details - if it's a bank, or some other large business, they will most likely notify you by other means eventually, if the threat is legitimate. E-mail is not the most urgent communication channel (phone is much faster), and besides, if an account is suspect, it will first and foremost be suspended, and the owner will be called in to personally clear things up - an e-mail is insufficient for that.

Also remember that most (some 99.9% of) services will never ask you for your password. They may ask for an answer to a security quesiton, or may ask you to login to your account and input a special code somewhere in there to verify your identity, but sending passwords through unencrypted e-mails is at least very, very foolish.

Computer and Internet Fraud

Is it real if you got a letter from the sweepstakes audit bureau claiming you won some unclaimed fund?

the company is still preying on the gullible and the eternal optimist. spread the word to friends and neighbors. see the report at:

The solicitation, which requests that consumers return a "claim form" along with $5, offers to sell a report that lists national sweepstakes operated by other, third-party, companies and the prizes to be awarded in those sweepstakes. The offer is not clear and conspicuous.

As of August 29, 2008, Emerson Publishing agreed to discontinue some advertisements, but refused to fully cooperate with the BBB by modifying all of its advertisements to adhere to the BBB Code of Advertising.


Why do hackers hack?

Why do Hackers hack?

1. For things. Yes, breaking into a computer is great for getting information. if I wanted a DVD that someone has, I would just need to break in and steal the DVD loaded software without having to do it myself. Free DVD anyone?

2.For status. Just like bank robbery, it looks cool to be in a gang, have an identity and get recognition for a skill. That's if you're desperate for social approval.

3.For fun. Hacking is a game to prove how smart you are. The more defences, anti-viral, anti-spyware and firewalls you can destroy the smarter you are. Also, it's gladiator games phenomenon. Yeah you can get a thrill form destroying someone's computer. It's not your own.

4.For vengeance. Stupid laws against piracy? Fed up about having to buy subscriptions to iTunes and Napster? Well, hack in and modify the subscription program and them you can watch them get angry at losing money. Also, you can lynch programs for free off them while they scramble like rats trying to fix Paypal! No, I wouldn't recommend it; it's not fair.

5.For nothing. Sometimes, you hack without meaning too. Or you join a gang to see what it's like. Before you know it, you're hooked. Don't do it.

6.For guilt. Hackers sometimes break in to fix systems which users forget to repair. They also alert users to security holes in their system. they also can repair systems from a far which other hackers have destroyed. bear in mind, that these people are a great when they show up but like batman they can be scary. unfortunately, hacking for good causes is rare. Can someone call Techno Hood for my computer again?

Hackers hack for a reason. it's mostly psychological.

Western Hemisphere
Example Sentences

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Germany in WW2

HOW does cyber education affects the youth and the people involved in it?

much better than todays public schools Cause with computers you can study when you want and you have instructors always their in the memory plus they have so many other resources a click away In a short while schools will be diminishing cause the tech is so overpowering as well as the money saved Face it this is cyber evolution and theres no turning back-welcome to the age of Aquarius: genious electronics and the cosmos

Earthquake in Japan 2011

How many people died in the 1971 San Fernando earthquake?


Credit and Debit Cards
Online Shopping

If you ordered goods over the Internet but did not receive them are you responsible for paying for them?

You would need to contact the company you purchased from and they will look into seeing why you didn't receive the products and resend them if they got lost.


What is bokig?

I recently saw a spam/phished ad on my friends myspace about this stuff... it's a male "part" enlarger.

penis enlargement.


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