There are many varieties of phishing schemes that are being used to defraud consumers. Schemes that get victims to reveal personal and financial information are some of the most common frauds perpetrated on the internet.
Most internet users can spot a rudimentary phishing scheme, where an e-mail from an unknown financial institution urgently requests verification of personal information on a bank account that doesn't exist. Fraudulent e-mails that appear to be sent from institution where the recipient acutally has an account may be more difficult to recognize. Recently, e-mails claiming to be from known online retailers, such as eBay and Amazon.com, have been brought to the public eye. These e-mails are generally used in tandem with websites taht look nearly identical to those belonging to the businesses being impersonated. The ever-changing nature of technology means taht new versions of phishing schemes pop up constantly.
To help internet users avoid falling for these schemes, organizations are designing and employing security measures aimed to combat phishing. Software companies are working to create new versions of web browsers specifically designed to protect users from phishing shemes.
To aid in preventing phishing, arm your computer with spam filters, anti-virus and anti-spyware software, and a firewall. Remember, phishing occurs mostly by e-mail. Do not click on any link in an e-mail that asks for your personal information. Be suspicious if you are contacted unexpectedly and asked for personal information. Finally, act immediatly if you've been hooked by a phisher.