Internet scammers casting about for people's financial information have a new way to lure unsuspecting victims: They go "phishing". Phishing, also called "carding," is a high-tech scam that uses spam to deceive consumers into disclosing their credit card numbers, bank account information, Social Security numbers, passwords, and other sensitive information.
Often, the suspect emails pretend to be from businesses the potential victims deal with - for example, their Internet service provider (ISP), online payment service (eg. Paypal) or a bank. The fraudsters tell recipients that they need to "update" or "validate" their billing information to keep their accounts active, and direct them to a "look-alike" Web site of the legitimate business, further tricking consumers into thinking they are responding to a bona fide request. Unknowingly, consumers submit their financial information - not to the businesses - but the scammers, who use it to order goods and services and obtain credit.
To avoid getting caught by one of these scams follow these tips:
Email boxes are filling up with more offers for business opportunities than any other kind of unsolicited commercial email. That's a problem, because many of these offers are scams. More often than not, bulk email offers appear to be fraudulent, and if pursued, could rip-off unsuspecting consumers.
Here are the 12 scams that are most likely to arrive in consumers' email boxes:
It's not always easy to spot scams, and new ones are invented every day.
If you suspect that you may be a target of fraud, or if you have already sent
funds, don't be embarrassed - you're not alone. If you want to report a fraud,
or if you need more information, contact PhoneBusters:
Toll Free: 1-888-495-8501
Fax: (705) 494-4008 Toll Free Fax: 1-888-654-9426
or contact the Competition Bureau