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There is a reason that Phishing is the first scam on this web site, scammers need to do this in order to start the next stage of the scam.  If they can't 'Phish' your information out of you then, in most cases, they can't scam you.


What is phishing (And yes, the spelling is correct)?  It is simply a scammer trying to get information out of you in order to use it for there own evil purposes.

Phishing is usually the start of a number of scams, including ebay, Paypal and all credit card scams - the reason for this is simple, scammers need your information in order to access your accounts.
All identity theft scams also start with phishing.

Phishing can be done a number of ways; the most common methods are emails and phone calls.


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First we'll look at emails.

You will receive an email (and if you have an email for more than a year then you WILL receive one) which will be made to look like it comes from a legitimate source (e.g ebay, Paypal, your local bank).
These emails are very well made and are made EXACTLY the same as a real email would look.  Ironically the ebay fake email even has a link to the security section of ebay, just like the real ebay email does!

These emails will ask for you to update your personal details and you must give them quickly.  The email goes on to tell you that if you don't update your details then your account is suspended.  This is done in order to pressure you to do it fast.

If you click on the link in these emails then you will be taken to a web site that looks just like the real thing (i.e a fake ebay email will take you to a fake ebay site, a fake paypal email will take you to a fake paypal website).
If you then enter your account name and password you have just given it to the scammers.

The best way to avoid these scams is to simply hit the delete button when you receive the email.


Phone calls

It could happen to you so be ready.

The next time you receive a phone call from your bank (not when you ring them) there is one thing you MUST do - ask to ring them back.
Wether you tell them that you are busy and will ring back in five minutes or you simply tell them that you are going to ring back in order to verify their identity - it doesn't matter, you MUST ring them back as that is the only way to verify they are real.
If they give you a phone number to call you back on then you can be 99% certain that it isn't a scam, scammers will NEVER give you any information to lead you back to them.  If you are really paranoid then double check the phone number before you ring them back.

If it is a scammer ringing you they attempt to get you to verify who you are.  They ask for your name, address, social security number (if you are in the USA) or bank account numbers (in Australia); that's all the information they need.

Now they will tell you that your account is under investigation and that you are not to use this account until an internal investigation is completed, they say that this will take 3 days.

In those 3 days scammers can not only clean your account out but can also get loans from major lending organisations; in Australia there was case where AUS$250,000 (US$190,000) was taken out in loans within 5 days.
You won't know about these loans until the paperwork arrives at your doorstep in order for you to make your first repayment.

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