More On Consumer Education Against Fraud & Deception

Identity Theft by 'Phishing' is becoming big business. In September 2003, the US Federal Trade Commission reported that "9.9 million U.S. residents were victims of identify theft during the previous year, costing businesses and financial institutions $48 billion and consumers $5 billion in out-of-pocket expenses."

Identity theft is no longer an occasional occurrance, it is a growing menace, and this article can help you protect yourself.  You'll be glad you read it.  And, if you know of more resources... I'll add 'em!  Thanks, Donna

-|- SiteMap -|- Consumer Protection Page -|- Phishing SPAM-Sample -|- Lottery SPAM-Sample -|-

"Cyber Crooks Go "Phishing"   by Jim Edwards
© Jim Edwards - All Rights reserved

"Phishing," the latest craze among online evil-doers,
has nothing to do with sitting at the end of a dock on a
sunny afternoon dangling a worm to entice hungry catfish.

But, if you take their bait, this new breed of online con
artist will hook you, reel you in, and take you for every
dollar you have... or worse

"Phishing" describes a combination of techniques
used by cyber crooks to bait people into giving up
sensitive personal data such as credit card numbers,
social security numbers, bank account numbers, dates of
birth and more.

Their techniques work so well that, according
to, "phishing" rates as
the fastest growing scam on the Internet.

Here's the basic pattern for a "phishing" scam...

You receive a very official-looking email that appears to originate
from a legitimate source, such as a bank, eBay, PayPal,
a major retailer, or some other well known entity.

In the email it tells you that something bad is about
to happen unless you act quickly.

Typically it tells you that your account is about
to get closed, or that someone appears to have stolen
your identity, or even that someone opened a fraudulent
account using your name.  (They use the fear factor)

In order to help straighten everything out, the letter indicates
that you need to click a link in the email and provide some
basic account information so they can verify your identity
and then give you additional details so you can help get
everything cleared up.

Once you give up your information... it's all over
but the crying!

After getting your information, these cyber-bandits can
empty your bank accounts, deplete your PayPal accounts,
run up your credit card balances, open new credit accounts,
assume your identity and much worse.

An especially disturbing new variation of this
scam specifically targets online business owners
and affiliate marketers.

In this con, the scammer's email informs you that they've
just sent $1,219.43 (or a similar big but believable
amount) in affiliate commissions to you via PayPal.

They tell you that they need you to log into your PayPal account to verify receipt of the money and then email them back to confirm you got it.

Since you're so excited at the possibility of an unexpected
pay day, you click the link to go to PayPal, log in, and BANG! 
They have your PayPal login information and can empty
your account.

This new "phishing" style scam works extremely well for
2 basic reasons.

First, by exploiting your sense of urgency created by fear
or greed, crooks get you to click the link and give them
your information without thinking.

Second, the scammers use a variety of cloaking and spoofing
techniques to make their emails and websites appear
totally legitimate, making it extremely hard to spot
a fake website, especially when they've first whipped
you into an emotional frenzy beforehand.

The good news, however, is that you can protect yourself
relatively easily against this type of cyber-crime
with basic software and common sense.

Most of these scams get delivered to you via Spam
(unsolicited email), so a good spam blocker will cut
down on many of them even making it to your inbox.

If you receive an email that looks legitimate and you
want to respond,  Stop - Wait - Think!

Verify all phone numbers with a physical phone book
or online phone directory like or before calling.

Look for spelling and grammatical errors that make it look
like someone who doesn't speak English or your native
language very well wrote it.

Never click the link provided in the email, but go
directly to the website by manually  typing in the main address of
the site yourself (example: or

Forward the email to the main email address of the website
(example: or call the customer service
number on the main website you typed in yourself and ask
if it is in fact legitimate.

Above all remember this:

Your bank, credit card company, PayPal, eBay and
anyone else you deal with online already knows
your account number, username, password or any other
account specific information.  They will NEVER email you
asking for it, not EVER, so don't ever give it out.

They don't need to email you for ANY reason to ask you
to confirm your information--so NEVER respond to email
requests for your account or personal details.

-- Jim Edwards is a syndicated newspaper columnist
and the co-author of an amazing new ebook that will teach
you how to use fr-e articles to quickly drive thousands
of targeted visitors to your website or affiliate links...

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Or:  If you are attempting to market online or publish a newsletter or ezine, please read Jim's other outstanding Article about WHY writing articles really works, first, by visiting this link (and see what gift Donna has for you if you choose to buy Jim's book using her link)  Click this link to learn more:

Post-Note from Donna Maher RN/Webmaster:

This is just the first in a series of articles I will be providing as a public service and education for all internet users, because I care about people and I abhor man's inhumanity to man.  The earth is such a beautiful place and it should be respected, along with the inhabitants, not exploited and ruined by those who care only about their own greedy aspirations.  We must all help one another in the fight against evil (both online and offline).  It starts with you and me.  Volunteer to help at because you CAN make a difference!  Visit CNVC (Center for NonViolent Communication) to learn more, too.

Have a blessing-FULL day,

Donna Maher RN

This page is yet another one by a person who is also dedicated to consumer education and protection online.

I hope you find it useful and perhaps recommend it to your friends and family, too.

We all have to fight this together in order to win the war against SPAM and other online maladies.

Donna's Safety Tips:

(And, links to some helpful products below the tips.)

*Get A Good Spam-Blocker Software

*Get a good free firewall like Zone Alarm

*Start Paying Attention to what you receive and staying calm and remaining unemotional when it sounds too good to be true, it usually is!

*Stay up to date on all the latest scams

*Whenever in doubt, DON'T follow any link in your emails, and ALWAYS do what Jim says, hand-type the URL into your browser before logging in, it's worth the extra trouble, believe it!

Highest quality Anti-Spam Software Source

FireWall to protect your computer for free

Steven Free SpamBlocker
Another very good anti-spam software you can download and use right away.

>Earthlink now has a useful SCAM- Blocker toolbar, even if you aren't using Earthlink as your ISP... and it *really* helps you stop the phishing scams Jim has mentioned in this page's article:
Download it HERE

Notice the links at the top of the page, too, they are connected to some more cyber scam stuff you might like to learn more about.  :-)

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Find more self-protection articles (or whatever you need... Google is great!)

A few of my other websites: :: Donna's personal, philosophical website (the "home" page) :: Empower yourself with this free ezine by Donna. :: Samento Extract is strong Immune-system protection. :: Hitting The Search Engines ebook- it's powerful... :: 10 Power-Packed Public Domain Reports!

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