Thursday, March 15, 2007

Identity Theft - Phishing Scam

I just got one and I thought this would be a good time to explain what I do when I get these.  Mine was from PayPal and it claimed my account had been flagged.  OH NOOOO!  That's pretty serious isn't it?  I don't want to be in trouble.

First thing I do is of course make sure I do have an account, so if I get a notice from Bank of America I know I don't have any accounts at Bank of America so I can quickly delete that message.  I don't have to worry about click on any links.

Second, don't click on any links ever.  You can if you wish rest your mouse over the link and the place that you will really be taken will display.  Often it isn't to the site you suspect.  For example my PayPal "Secure Link" didn't even go to  So sure you can do that but really the best solution is to not click on anything in an email.  Period.

Third, I log into my account and see if I have any notices trying to get me to do anything.  I did this by opening my browser and typing in then login and looking around.  NOTHING.  So yes it was a Scam, my account is fine and there isn't anything I need to do.  It's always good to check anyway.

So there you go just follow good practices and you will be fine.  Basically don't click on any links in email unless it is something you were expecting from a friend or business acquaintance.  That will help you tremendously.

The people who do this stuff are really good at it though.  I once got an email from my Bank and they said I could answer a survey and get $20 deposited in my account.  Cool, I fell for it because I was new to this bank and click on the link.  Stupid I know, but like I said they tricked me.  Luckily my Phishing Filter from my Web Browser stopped me and it was all over.  Phewww!  Good thing I had backup and you should too.

Be careful.

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