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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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7 billion is scammed from American citizens every year, and that number is likely only a fraction of the actual amount since most scams are not reported to authorities, said Bill Warnisher of the Lane County District Attorney's Office.
One of the telephone scams falsely says that the intended victim has failed to appear for jury duty in Florida and must pay money as a result.
Pyramid and chain letter scams claimed 480,000 victims and 380,000 people fell for prize draw scams.
Online scams have been around since the Internet's creation.
People in the higher social classes are most likely to be the targets of scams, research suggests.
Along with other security tips on its Web site, the company provides a definition of phishing, what consumers should look for to spot a scam, how to decrease their risk of becoming a victim, how to report an online scam, a list of recent phishing attacks and where to seek further information about the scams.
In return, providers participating in the scam allegedly promised them cash payments and submitted millions of dollars in fraudulent and grossly inflated bogus insurance claims.
If you believe a client has been victimized by a living trust mill or annuity scam, ask them to file a complaint with their local district attorney's office, the California Department of Insurance or the attorney general's website, www.
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.
The scam artists place a large order, which is accompanied by a legitimate-appearing bank draft.
Feeling vulnerable because of an illness was found to be a common reason why people are worried they might be susceptible to a scam, along with living alone and feeling they are not financially aware.
Senator Claire McCaskill today launched a new resource for veterans targeted by home loan refinancing scams.