To understand what is Phishing you need to think about scammers who scam normal people out of their money. Phishing is a way using which scammers trick internet users out of their personal details and also financial details after which they take ownership of email accounts. In order to make you understand this in a better way i will be giving you a example below which was received by me on my email on behalf of some Bank.
from Bank Of America
Date Fri, Nov 20, 2009 at 1:58 AM
Subject Online Survey 18.11.2009
As today 18 November 2009, Bank of America is launching a new survey program.All customers are welcome to participate this survey. The survey will take 5 minutes and for your effort and understanding Bank of America will select most of the customers that takes this survey and reward them with $50.00
$50.00 will be debited in your Bank of America credit/debit card in maxim 48 hours. One of our survey representative will contact you soon after you complete and submit the survey. It would be helpful if you fill it out right now. If that is not possible, please do it soon. We plan to close the survey on 20 November 2009, so do not delay. Please note that all responses will be confidential. To start completing the Survey please download the pdf form attached to this e-mail.
Your Bank of America BONUS CODE is BOA2553455/2009; Please copy/paste the code and write the code in the pdf survey file in order to get your $50.00 prize. Download
Cheef of Bank of America Survey Team 2009
Below, are the some of the things which you need to take care of before clicking on the links in the emails and before even replying any emails you receive.
- Email Address : You should never click on the links which you receive in your email instantly because they can be harmful too and this should be taken care with when you get a email from unknown people in your inbox. Generally most of these scammers would try to send you a email which looks almost legit, but the sender’s ID cannot make you a fool. Here are few examples of the emails they would use ie firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org and these scammers would even use some 3rd party services and email you along with a forged email ID, which means that they would send you a email from some services which dont verify their email and just send it as sender ID. Hence, whenever you receive a email from someone first of all you need to verify that its a valid email and not a scam because that can sort out most of the issues.
They would create emails in such a way that you would feel as if these are real email accounts and would look almost like official email ID’s. Most regularly emails are from fake emails of bigggest brands like eBay, MSN, Paypal or the most Public/Private Sector Banks and if you are a owner of a account with those companies you would feel that this is a legit email and would directly start reading the email and proceed with the steps mentioned within them.
- Finding E-mail Hoaxes and Fraudulent Links : The Phishing emails you receive are generally built to steal your identity and your personal or financial information. In these you will find a website link to either validate your account or get more information related to the email and most of these are not the real links and would be linking to scammers websites. Once you find a link within your email you need to mouse over on it and based on the browser you will find the linked URL in the status bar of your browser. In case of Internet Explorer or browser where you cannot find the URL on mouse over, you need to right click on it and select the properties option which will show you the URL Address to which its linked to. Below is a sample which shows that the display shows Download option but its linking to some IP based URL which is a phished link.
Here are a few examples of the URL which would look like the original ones originating from Microsoft.com but would generally be like www.micosoft.com, www.mircosoft.com & www.verify-microsoft.com etc and in a hurry while reading these emails you would not spell check these domain names and just visit them and enter your real information which would later be used by them.
- Email Subject Titles : Normally you would expect your friend to send you a email with a normal subject message, but generally many people get excited when they get messages like the following :
Verify your account
Limited Period Free Samples offer
Final Warning – Confirm your account within 48 hours
Click on the link to verify your account
Click on the link to gain access to your account
Enter your CC Information for Free Shipping
Reactivate your Email Account within 48 Hours
Whenever you receive any emails like these you would get excited to read it and click on the links within it without verifying the correct details, because of which the chances of getting into these scams are very high. The title does make a lot of difference and when the sender is trying to send you information about some urgent issue then the click rate or read rate increases.
Always keep few things in mind to verify the links you receive and in case you feel that the link may be a correct one, use a free proxy website and check the link there first and if you have confirmed it that its the correct one, you can proceed with it. Also most of the legit companies would not require you to enter your personal information or financial account details through email accounts hence never ever enter them. Most financial websites would link to their https:// URL instead of a http:// url to make sure that its a secured destination. Even if you have entered your details into one of these scams, you should now move away and make sure to avoid further conversations with the scammers because the more you talk with them, the personal information you would be sharing with them and also make sure that if your financial information is leaked quickly Report online fraud with the Cyber Crime Department.