Identity Theft: ‘Phishing’ Emails
‘Spoofs’ are also called ‘phishing’ emails. ‘Phishing’ refers to any email that attempts to get you to share personal or financial information that can be used to commit fraud. While ‘spoofs’ pretend to be a known business or institution, ‘phishing’ emails also include offers to collect prizes, requests for help, charity donations or false notices that you have won a lottery or a trip. They tell you that to reserve your prize you must give them a credit card number for verification or as a deposit. Some emails request your help by offering you a portion of a fund that will be deposited into your bank account. These are often sent as requests from rich foreign (particularly Nigerian) nobility or government officials.
They are dangerous groups and should never be contacted or replied to. Similar scams are also done over the telephone and are called ‘pretexting’. Always contact the organization or business directly if you are contacted for charitable donations or account information. Special Concern: Online Privacy While many suggestions have already been listed to protect your identity online there are a few areas that require special attention. Email Fraud Email fraud was thoroughly explained in the preceding chapter about steps to take to prevent identity fraud.
Treat every unsolicited email with suspicion and exercise caution when sending information that contains personal or financial details through email. Protect Your Computer Computer viruses and spyware can enter your computer when you click on a link in an email or by accessing a website that downloads the program without your consent. While no person can prevent all exposure to these viruses and spyware you can protect your computer by installing a firewall as well as purchasing anit-virus and anit-spyware programs that routinely search your computer and remove these threats. What can you do to prevent identity theft? Get free adware download and protect your online privacy. Viruses can spread through your computer, corrupting files and information as well as being passed on to other people through your email. Spyware can track your movements on the internet as well as collect information that you enter while using the internet including passwords, banking information and personal data. You may also download programs that appear safe but are hiding spyware or viruses. These programs are called Trojan Horses. Only download information from sites you know and trust.Get your free $97 PC Security book at http://www.
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