Yahoo News (press release) – USA – Consumer Alert: How to Avoid Taking the 'Phishing' Bait

  • Yahoo News (press release) – USA – Consumer Alert: How to Avoid Taking the 'Phishing' Bait.

    Privacy Nonprofit Releases Five Rules to Detect and Avoid Phishing Scams

    FRANCISCO, June 29 /PRNewswire/ — One of the more sinister and
    increasingly prevalent methods of identity theft is the practice of
    “spoofing” or “phishing,” involving the sending of e-mails that mirror
    the appearance of a popular Web site or company in an attempt to commit
    identity theft. Phisher e-mails claim to be sent by a legitimate
    company and ask consumers to reply with personal information, such as
    their credit card number, social security number and account password.

    A June 2004 survey of 6,300 consumers conducted by the privacy nonprofit TRUSTe and the Ponemon Institute revealed that 76 percent of consumers consider identity theft their number one privacy concern.

    response to the sharp increase in e-mail phishing, TRUSTe today
    released five rules to help consumers detect and avoid phishing scams:

    Be suspicious of urgent demands for information. Often spoofed e-mails
    will make some form of urgent request. For example, the e-mail will
    claim that your account will be terminated if you fail to confirm your
    sensitive information.

    2. Look for misspelled words or
    grammatical errors in the message and/or hyperlink. Blatant misspelled
    words and/or grammatical errors are common in spoof e-mail scams.

    Avoid e-mailing personal and financial information. Before submitting
    financial or account information to a Web site, look for a third-party
    privacy seal to ensure that the transaction is secure. Also avoid
    volunteering private information like passwords or a personal social
    security number.

    4. Be watchful of general greetings. Many
    spoof e-mails begin with a general greeting such as “Welcome eBay User”
    rather than directly addressing the registered user by name.

    Contact the company directly. If you have any doubts about an e-mail or
    Web site, open a new browser and visit the company directly to verify
    Web site. Don't be afraid to call customer service about an e-mail.

    addition, TRUSTe encourages consumers to choose Web sites for online
    commerce carefully. “Consumers should make purchases only from
    companies that take identity threats seriously. We advise that
    consumers work with companies that have taken steps to correct any
    challenging situations and demonstrated their support by countering
    cybercriminals engaged in phishing activities,” said Fran Maier,
    president and executive director, TRUSTe.[ Privacy Digest]

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