Sunday, September 13, 2009

Do You Know Where Emails Are Coming From?

Just because an email says it’s from, how can you be sure? One of the basic necessities of phishing attacks is an identity thief’s ability to convincingly pretend to be someone else. The core of phishing is impersonation. Identity thieves pretend to be legitimate businesses, organizations, or government agencies when they ask for your personal information. They copy the Web sites of those they are impersonating to trick you into providing your information on the sites. And once they have your information, they impersonate you to gain access to your accounts and create new accounts in your name. Authentication – getting proof that someone is who they claim to be – is key in fighting the battle against phishing.

Many phishing attempts start with an email message that pretends to be from a trusted source, such as a bank or an online merchant. Phishers have figured out ways to make it look like an email comes from a certain email address, when that actually isn’t the case. It may be impossible to tell just by looking at the “From” line in the message whether the sender truly is who it claims to be. So, what’s a consumer to do?

For detailed informationabout what to do visit our Cybersecurty for Seniors website.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Fraud Afoot

Seems like everyone has become the recipient of mysterious e-mails promising untold wealth if only one helps a wealthy foreigner quietly move millions of dollars out of his country. The venerable Nigerian Scam has discovered the goldmine that is the Internet. Beware — there's still no such thing as "something for nothing," and the contents of your bank account will end up with these wily foreigners if you fall in with this.

Likewise, look out for mailings announcing you've won a foreign lottery you don't recall entering or claiming that because you share the surname of a wealthy person who died without leaving a will you're in line for a windfall inheritance.

And be especially wary if, while trying to sell or rent anything online (car, boat, horse, motorcycle, painting, apartment, you name it) you're approached by a prospective buyer/renter who wants to pay with a cashier check made out for an amount in excess of the agreed-upon price and who asks the balance be sent to a third party.

Aspiring work-at-homers promised big bucks for acting as intermediaries for international transactions wherein they cash checks for other parties or reship goods to them have been defrauded by con artists. Don't you be next.

If someone calls to announce you've failed to appear for jury duty and will be arrested, do not give the caller your personal and financial information in an effort to prove he's sending the gendarmes after the wrong guy. You're being tricked into giving up this information to an identity thief.