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Avoid "Phishing" Scams Print E-mail
Wednesday, 22 August 2007

Beware an increasing trend in email spam; the message appears like a legitimate welcome letter from an online service...

Here is an example that I received today:
Here is your membership info for Funny-Files.
Member Number: 31544784369763
Temporary Login: user1626
Temp Password ID: dg225
Please keep your account secure by logging in and changing your login info.
Click on the secure link or paste it to your browser:
Welcome Department


This is a perfect example of what is considered “Phishing”.  Recently, I’ve started receiving two or three of these daily.  The website, member # & login don’t really exist.  Instead, you’ll be forwarded to a website that will likely infect your computer.  Legitimate websites RARELY use an IP address (a website consisting of numbers, not letters. ie; “http: //64.123.456.001”).  In the above example, the “secure link” is an IP address, not a legitimate website.

If you did sign up for something, type the name of the website (ie; directly in your browser instead of clicking on the link in an email.  Even though a link within the message appears as, the hidden information may send you somewhere completely different.

Again, NEVER click on a link within an email unless you’re 100% positive you requested the email.  Practice on the safe side by opening your web browser manually and type the website in by hand.  A few seconds more may save you a ton of headaches.