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The illegal practice of attempting to steal an identity by setting up a website and encouraging people to input credit card or other personal information. Phishing often purports to present a legitimate web business and asks the "customer" to give personal information in order to receive fictitious products. Alternatively, phishing may involve a criminal sending out e-mail purporting to be from a bank or credit card company asking for information as part of an "urgent" request. Phishers then steal the identity directly or sell to another party for illegal purposes.


Phishing is one way that identity thieves use the Internet to retrieve your personal information, such as passwords and account numbers.

The thieves' techniques include sending hoax emails claiming to originate from legitimate businesses and establishing phony websites designed to capture your personal information.

For example, you may receive an urgent email claiming to come from your bank and directing you to a website where you're asked to update or verify your account number or password. By responding you give identity thieves an opportunity to steal your confidential information.

Phishing is difficult to detect because the fraudulent emails and websites are often indistinguishable from legitimate ones and the perpetrators change identities regularly.

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9 per cent of those who have heard of phishing scams have been victims of one in the past.
To avoid phishing scams, be suspicious of any email message that asks you to enter or verify personal information through a website or by replying to the message itself.
Most people are well aware of the ubiquitous e-mail phishing scams involving European lottery wins or hilariously ungrammatical requests to transfer large sums of money to an American bank.
According to the company, computer users are so at ease giving out their personal data online that there is a risk of becoming complacent and falling for a phishing scam, as these scams are getting more and more sophisticated and in some cases, harder to spot.
NordicRadio, a Norwegian Internet-based radio station, was reportedly closed down for a short time this week after an employee of the company allegedly set up a phishing scam.
Urging people to beware of e-mails offering holiday deals that seem too good to be true, Henry adds that consumers should be on guard against a particularly nasty new phishing scam this holiday season.
In a common type of phishing scam, individuals receive e-mail messages that appear to come from their financial institution.
UK-based penetration testing and security company SecureTest has warned Internet users of a new phishing scam that attempts to fraudulently obtain confidential information.
When a user tries to visit a site identified as a phishing scam, the toolbar contacts EarthLink's servers to check the site is still considered an active scam.
Liberty Tax is alerting taxpayers about the latest online phishing scam involving deceptive e-mails that appear to be sent from the IRS.
If you receive a suspect email: DO NOT click on any links in the scam email; DO NOT supply any personal information of any kind; DO NOT reply to the email or attempt to contact the senders; DO NOT supply any information on the bogus website that may appear in your browser if you have clicked a link in the email; DO NOT open any attachments that arrive with the email; REPORT the phishing scam to your service provider and change your password immediately; DELETE the email from your computer as soon as possible.
The Bank of Israel has issued a warning on a phishing scam.