Phishing emails by which an identity thief sends you an email that purports to be from a trusted source, such as your email provider or bank in which you are instructed to click on a link in order to resolve a major problem is a common and effective way for identity thieves to get you to unwittingly install keystroke logging malware on to your computer that will steal your personal information from your computer and use it to make you a victim of identity theft. In a more advanced form of phishing called “spear phishing” the email may be directed to you by name and have other information that can fool you into believing that the email is legitimate. Spear phishing has resulted in many of the major data breaches in the past year including Target and possibly Sony.
Here are some examples of some phishing email commonly circulating. DO NOT CLICK ON THE LINKS.
“Your mailbox has exceeded the storage limit of 1 GB. You can not receive new messages until you update your mailbox. CLICK HERE to update.
“Dear Aol User,
Your Account needs to be updated to enable your account work properly, Aol is doing upgrades to all users to keep there account safe from viruses and hacking.
Please CLICK HERE to upgrade now and continue to enjoy the benefits and services of Aol Mail.
Copyright © in 2014 All rights reserved.”
“The Mail Team
Your incoming messages were placed on pending due to our recent upgrade.
You have 1 new Security message From Wells Fargo Bank.Click the secure link below to confirm your account.
Security Adviser, ATM/debit card number.
Copyright © 1999 – 2014 Wells Fargo. All rights reserved. NMLSR ID 399801.”
“We believe you have violated either the Terms of Service, product-specific Terms of Service (available on the product page),or product-specific policies.Please view all violated Terms below
Violated Terms Of Service”
Trust me, you can’t trust anyone! These particular phishing emails are pretty rudimentary. Not only does your name not appear in the email, but the email addresses from where they were sent does not reflect that it was sent by AOL or Wells Fargo as represented in the email. Rather, the email addresses from which these emails were sent are those of innocent people whose email accounts have been hijacked by the identity thieves and made a part of a botnet by which these phishing emails are sent. Never click on a link or download an attachment from anyone unless your absolutely sure that it is legitimate. Even if the email appears to come from a legitimate company or someone you trust and even if the email addresses you by name, you should not click on the link until you have confirmed that the email and link are legitimate. Identity thieves can hijack the email accounts of your friends or make the address of the sender appear to be legitimate.