How do I spot, avoid 'phishing' scams?

Q. I've heard about people getting duped into giving out personal information through "phishing" emails. How do I spot these kinds of scams and avoid getting caught in them?

A. "Phishing" may sound like a silly word, more on its origins later but the threat that this kind of fraud poses to ordinary Internet users is dead serious.

"Phishing" is a widely used scam to trick people into divulging sensitive information such as their credit card numbers, bank account information or passwords to criminals who can then rack up unauthorized purchases or sell the information to others.

This can result in consumers facing unauthorized bills, new credit accounts opened fraudulently in their name and a damaged credit rating. It can also lead to identity theft -- a very serious problem. How do I spot, avoid 'phishing' scams? -

Linked by shanmuga Monday, 8th May 2006 1:35AM