Quoted from eurekalert.org today…
Today’s phishing e-mails are already pretty tricky. Many spoof legitimate companies’ domain names by linking not to legitimate domain names, such as “ebay.com,” but to misleading domain names, like “secure-ebay.com,” which are owned by phishers. Some users, encountering fake Web sites that look real, unwittingly give away vital personal information such as social security numbers, bank account numbers, access codes, usernames and passwords. Another version of phishing takes advantage of the fact that many users configure their e-mail clients to display pictures and text formatting within the messages. This makes it possible for phishers to show users the name of a legitimate domain name within the body of their e-mails — while linking to a differently named Web site.
Phishing messages that appear to be sent by such trusted companies as eBay, Citibank and others are currently duping 3 percent of the people who receive them, according to a recent survey by Gartner Inc. Aware of the threat, members of Congress are currently debating passage of the Internet Spyware Prevention Act, which would provide the Justice Department with $10 million to apprehend phishers and other online scam artists. END OF QUOTE.
Do you not find it eyepopping – 3%!? When I was in the fundraising biz, back when elasmosaurs swam the seas, a 3% response rate was incredible, ecstasy inducing. The first time I saw the Ebay, and then the Citibank scam email, I rubbed my eyes, forwarded it to my mother with a brief note along the lines of “What the f*ck kind of idiot do they think I am?” and deleted it. Well, I don’t have to be an idiot. In another 100 emails, three idiots will pop up and hand over their bank account info. The phishers don’t need me.
I would like to think that anybody reading this is too smart to be fooled by a con job like this, but just in case you aren’t – don’t send your credit card info or other personal details to anybody over the internet unless YOU went looking for THEM and THEY have a secure socket site. I always phone the toll free number first as well to find out how fast I’ll get a live body if I have problems.
Sigh. The world fills up faster with fools and phisherman than smart people with manners.