Word of the Week: Scam

Word of the Week: Scam
Other words for Scam: Swindle, Con, Fraud, Bunco, Diddle, FlimFlam, Gyp, Racket, Sting, Hustle

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Identity Theft Phishing Scams

Phishing scams attempting to steal a person's identity through the use of spoof emails will probably continue to occur for many years. You probably heard that the King of Spam was finally caught last week, but that will not put an end to the phishing identity theft spoofs created by other spammers.

Late last month the IRS reported a spoof phishing scam. As with any spoof emails if you receive an email from an entity claiming to be the IRS don't buy into the scam, and never click through any links within the email. Be sure to always report suspicious emails to the entity they claim to be representing.

First and foremost, be sure to keep your computer anti-virus definitions and firewall programs up to date to help guard you from identity theft. Phishing scams are just one example of a variety of ways fraudsters attempt to steal our identities. Learn more about phishing scams to protect yourself.


Michael Durnack said...

There is also targeted phishing scams that focus on a specific group in an area claiming to be a regional bank or an employer. Those scams are known as "spear phishing"

The people who send these dangerous emails to a highly targeted audience may also attempt a "vishing scam" in the same community where the people will receive automated (phony) phone calls stating they are from XYZ Bank security department and an account will be closed or has been compromised and they need to call another number immediately to rectify the situation. If the person falls victim and calls the number, they receive an automated voice system requesting the target information and the victim provides the information verbaly.

The best defense for identity theft is self defense. It is up to the individual to do everything in their power to protect their personal information.

Over 60% of identity theft is consumer preventable.

Tammara Nelson said...

Hi Michael,

The term spear phishing is news to me, but I did write about vishing here some time ago.

You are correct about most identity theft situations being avoided by simply using self-defense, along with common sense.

Thanks for commenting!