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Jack Asks About Phishing
What the heck is "Phishing". I have seen that term on the web a lot recently I enjoy your premium newsletter very much. thanks, Jack

Our Answer
Thanks Jack. Phishing is a term used to describe the current method of choice by hackers and other criminals to steal your personal information by deceit. It's like fishing only in this fishing expedition WE are the fish. The email comes to you looking exactly like a legitimate email from a bank, credit card company, or other financial institution asking you to "verify" your account information. Of course no legitimate financial institution, bank, or credit card company would ever ask you for this information via email, especially not addressed to "Dear Cardmember" or "Dear Account Holder". You may be asked to click a link which may well appear to a link to the bank's Web site but links are easily disguised. For instance: or

If you clicked those links where did you end up? On Google? On Citibank? And those links were not even well disguised (i.e. we didn't use a script to redirect you). Had we used a script it would have been harder for you to tell without clicking it. However you could have right-clicked that link and chosen "Copy Shortcut" from the menu which appears and pasted it into an email or notepad file and you could verify that the link was authentic. If you ever have a question about where a link might lead you it's always wise to use the above technique to check and make sure you know where you're going before you actually click the link. Many new worms are spread this way. However, whenever you receive an email from a financial institution DO NOT CLICK THE LINKS IN THE EMAIL. If you get an email from your bank, and it appears legitimate, don't click the links. If you think your bank has something important to tell you, type the URL into your browser's address bar or call them. Do not click links in emails which appear to be from financial institutions. Banks, credit card companies, and other legitimate financial institutions will never ask you for personal information (i.e. social security number, credit card number, etc.) in an email. Email is not secure. But click-happy people, click links in such email or enter the information without thinking and this is why identity theft is the fastest growing crime in the world. And all it takes is a little lapse of common sense and your private information is in the hands of a criminal who can and will use your identity and information for his/her own financial gain. If you think your bank has something important to ask you or your account needs to be updated or verified, type the URL to your bank in the browser's address bar or call the bank and ask. Do not ever, ever, ever, click links in emails that appear to have come from a financial institution.

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