Watch Out for Phishing Scams - the Latest in Identity Theft through the Internet

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I was recently talking to a friend of mine name Billy whose Bank of America accounts were all drained in about a two day period without him knowing it.  How did this happen - he fell victim to one of the most rampant forms of fraud that is out there called Phishing.

Essentially what Phishing is is when you receive an email that looks totally legitimate from your bank (or another bank that claims to be your bank) - or I have even seen them from PAY PAL - and they tell you there is a problem with your account and you need to come login to the website to confirm something, or change something, etc. etc.

 The email looks just like it is coming from the bank, or Pay Pal, and when you click on the link to login, you go to a website that looks totally legitimate as well, but when you put in your user name and password, that is the beginning of the identity theft process, they will then most likely prompt you to confirm your address, social security number, and maybe your date of birth and mother's maiden name, etc.  You get the point.

The whole time this is happening they are preparing to immediately login to your real account and start draining your funds.

 This is a terrible crime that unfortunately preys on the trusting and innocent, and I would personally like to see the culprits strung up.

To let you know, Billy is still struggling to get his money back.

For more on Phishing, you can see what Symantec says about it here:



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Nalliah Thayabharan
Expert Building Inspections Ltd - Markham, ON
Home Inspector - Commercial Building Inspector Toronto

Hi   Michael!

This is fantastic and very helpful!! Thank you!!!

Keep posting!!

Nalliah Thayabharan

Commercial and Residential Building Inspector

Expert Building Inspections Ltd

Jun 07, 2007 09:45 AM #1
Jim Lee
RE/MAX Shoreline - Portsmouth, NH
Portsmouth NH Realtor, Portsmouth, NH

I wonder why most folks don't find it odd that their bank would be contacting them and asking for their account number, password, PIN #, and social security number.

Don't the banks already have that information if you have an account there? Duh.

Jun 07, 2007 09:46 AM #2
Missy Caulk
Missy Caulk TEAM - Ann Arbor, MI
Savvy Realtor - Ann Arbor Real Estate
I get them all the time.......recently I did get one from Bank of America, where I have an account. Most of the time I don't have accounts there. So I  called, and it was phishing. I sent it to their support dept so they could track the site.
Jun 07, 2007 02:07 PM #3
Jeff R. Geoghan
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Lancaster, PA
REALTOR, Marketing Manager
A constant thing for me too...
Jun 08, 2007 08:10 AM #4
Americas Relocation Home Services
META TRES - Phoenix, AZ
Great posting Michael  - thanks
Jun 14, 2007 04:42 AM #5
Stephen Joos & Chris Brubaker- HouseFront
HouseFront - Denver, CO
THank you for sharing, I have had my identity stolen, it is a miserable violating experience. I appreciate the tip.
Jun 14, 2007 08:15 AM #6
Cynthia Tilghman, Realtor® Onslow County NC Home Specialist
Kingsbridge Realty, Inc - Hubert, NC
We all need to be reminded about the dangers of the scams out there.  I received one of those emails a few weeks ago, I am happy to say I did not respond.  We keep hearing identity theft is the fasting growing crime in U.S --so sadly, we're going to continue hearing stories like this.  Good post.
Jun 14, 2007 09:26 AM #7
Dale Baker
Baker Energy Audits and Commercial Properties Inspections - Claremont, NH
New Hampshire Relocation Real Estate Information

Thank you for a good post

I like reading what every one has to

Jun 14, 2007 09:32 AM #8
Chuck Tuttle
Residential Realty Advisors, Tuttle Team - Centerville, MA
Very good internet consulting advice Michael - thank you
Jun 14, 2007 11:16 AM #9
this profile is
Invalid - Frederica, DE

Paypal is one of the most commonly used sites for this kind of scam. I simply have a policy that I don't respond to any kind of thing like this. As someone said before why would an institution need information that they already have on record?

Windows has a phishing filter that can be applied to any email account and most av programs are coming out with some sort of phishing filer. Likely what we will see (as usual) is the phishers getting smarter about how they set things up much like spammers. 

Jun 14, 2007 11:22 AM #10
Inna Ivchenko
Barcode Properties - Encino, CA
Realtor® • Green • GRI • HAFA • PSC Calabasas CA

Examples of simple steps you can take to protect yourself and your data include:

- Shred all documents containing personal, financial or medical information before you throw them out.
- Be cautious using debit cards.  Don’t use at gas pumps or for shopping online.
- Don’t respond to e-mails, calls or texts seeking sensitive information. Legitimate companies don’t seek customers’ information this way.
- Create strong passwords that mix letters, numbers and special characters, and use different passwords for different accounts.
- Lock your mailbox.  Stolen mail is a leading cause of identity theft.
- Don’t keep your license, title and registration in your glove compartment.

Aug 23, 2015 04:57 PM #11
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Real Estate Website Optimization
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