|From the Kenosha News on 12-12-04
Don't get caught by those e-mail 'phishers'
E-mail scams are definitely not a festive topic for this holiday system, but they are so prevalent and so dangerous that I want to discuss this topic before it ruins your holiday! In the past week alone, I have received two such e-mails, "phishing" for private information like credit card numbers.
Below is a summary of my experience and some tips to avoid these scams. For an in-depth explanation of the topic of e-mail scams and phishing – a form of identity theft via e-mail – the December Reader's Digest article "Don't Take the Bait" by Jamie Malanowski is very informative.
Now, because I have some experience with fraudulent e-mail, and I'm generally skeptical, I know that this is a scam. I check my PayPal account pretty regularly, so I know that there has been no "unusual activity," nor is my account "limited." Here are other ways to recognize a scam:
If you have any concern about an account being referenced in the e-mail the you receive, launch a new browser window and go to the address at which you usually access your account, e.g. www.paypal.com. Check if your information is correct and then disregard the message!
If you have clicked on links in such messages and filled in credit card information, contact your credit card company immediately. Check for fraudulent charges and request a new card with a new number. Better safe than sorry.
By Carol Sabbar from the Kenosha News on 12-12-04