Tuesday, November 16, 2004

BEWARE of Identity Theft

Gone Phishing!! That's the sign that hangs on the web today. But this is not a leisurely activity. This is serious business (or should I say crime.)

Phishing refers to the scams that are rampant on the internet today that are aimed at stealing your identify. If you get email, you've probably gotten one from a well known bank, Ebay or Paypal, that says your account will be suspended if you don't log on and update your information. While the emails may look official (and even have the company name in the From address) they are not. The link will take you to a fake site. Once you enter your information, the identity thief has you. They can access your ebay account, your paypal account or your bank account.

One rule of thumb -- never follow the link in any email, even if you think it's legit. Instead, go to the company's web site and login there.

I read a recent article about another scheme that was even more serious. While no reports have surfaced in the US, it could be a matter of time. A bank in S. America reported that a piece of spyware was redirecting some online banking users to a fake site. What the spyware did was change the address in Favorites to their fake site. When you log in, they can captured your account information.

If you don't have a spyware program on your computer, you should. Go to www.lavasoft.com and download Ad-Aware. It is a free program, but in PC World Magazine tests, it out performed several paid versions. Keep it up to date and run it at least weekly.

We at 800biz.com are here to help our clients in any way we can.

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