Receipt of your payment - Phishing
There are hundreds of fake messages which might be used to trick you into clicking some link in your Email. I’ve already written about the “Have you been visiting illegal web sites” and other fake Amazon or Ebay messages. These message look legitimate, and as they become more compelling more users will be reeled into the web of identify theft.
This week I’ve been getting messages letting me know “Your payment was successful”, complete with a valid looking PayPal payment. “What payment, I didn’t make this payment!”. This tactic is no doubt very successful. I’m sure people want to correct this error for fear their bank or credit card account might be charged. Just like your mother always told you, “Don’t believe everything you read”
This internet has adopted the term “Phishing” for this type of behavior. The sender mass Emails out some kind of legitimate looking message in hopes you’ll click on a link which will take you into their evil realm. The Email may even contain your name or city. Once you’ve click it will still appear to be a valid site and will most likely request some personal information or credit card data to resolve the problem. As soon as you click on Submit, you’re a new victim to identify theft.
Another variation called “Spear-Phishing” encourages users to go to a web page where malicious code may automatically be downloaded to you machine. The malicious program may have many evil purposes but typically it will record all your keystrokes and steal passwords and/or credit card information anytime its used in the future.
If you’d like to learn more about some common tricks used to infect your system with Spyware I encourage you to read Top 10 tricks causing spyware epidemic written by my friend Suzi Turner.