Spring 2005 CSANews Issue 54  |  Posted date : May 17, 2007.Back to list

Phishing attacks are "look alike" e-mails and fraudulent websites designed to fool recipients into divulging personal financial data, such as credit card numbers, account usernames and passwords, social insurance numbers and more. By purporting to be well-known financial institutions, online retailers and credit card companies, "phishers" have a success rate of a five per cent return from unknowing respondents.

The intent of the "phisher" is to entice you or excite you to reveal your personal access or financial information quickly. They may propose a risk that has to be averted, such as "we have noticed unusual activity on your account" and then they request your credit card number, with the three digits on the back. They will request that you provide your Password or Personal Identification Number.


  • Legitimate Financial Institutions and Service Providers WILL NEVER ask for your password or PIN.
  • If they represent a financial institution you already have a relationship with, they already have all the information they need.
  • If you are ever uncertain about any e-mail or phone call, contact the financial institution or service provider they claim to represent. Do not use a phone number provided by the potential fraudster. Phone numbers provided by the same person(s) making the claims are likely a scam as well.

Easy to spot:

  • "Phishers" are bad spellers. If you notice a spelling mistake in the communiqué, then you can be certain it is fraudulent.
  • You have not won a prize, gift or lottery jackpot that taxes and service fees have to be paid on an "upfront" basis in order to collect.
  • People in foreign countries DO NOT need your help getting their money into the country.
  • You have NEVER been "pre-qualified" for a low interest loan.
  • If they are offering anti-fraud protection for a fee or require the numbers of your accounts and credit cards to protect you, they are the ones you have to protect yourself from.

Source: Phonebusters
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