Phishermen flourishing amidst the turmoil

The only industry booming during the current financial turmoil seems to be the phishing industry.

Scammers are taking advantage of the chaos and confusion in the financial world to try and con people into parting with valuable information.

Chase, Wachovia and Bank of America are currently among the most popular targets with scammers, but British banks expected to rise in popularity in the coming weeks as changes and mergers are completed. The scammers often pose as new owners, or financial overseers of failed banks, in order to gain valuable personal information.

The advice is, be wary of any emails or pop-ups asking for any banking, credit card or other financial details and for whatever reason. NO reputable bank, credit card company or financial institution will EVER ask for personal details via email or through a pop-up on any website.

In addition, and as a general rule, look more carefully at the URL – the address of the site you are visiting – and make sure it is the site you intended visiting. Many scams involve a ‘redirect’ to a ‘look-alike’ site and the URL is, therefore, at least slightly different.

Someone has even set up a near-perfect replica of YouTube in order to gain personal information. And it even has the function of allowing you to watch the latest videos, just as you would on the real thing! If they are not after your bank account or credit card details via these means, they may well be after infecting or taking over your PC. And you’d probably never know!

Public or open WiFi connections are particularly easy for scammers when it comes to intercepting your signal.