'Phishing' is a term which refers to the on-line imitation of a company's branding in spoofed e-mail
messages and web sites, created with the intent of fooling unsuspecting users into divulging personal information such as passwords, credit card numbers, PINs, etc. A typical "phish" e-mail
will appear to come from a financial institution (such as a bank or credit card company), informing the recipient that some type of problem has affected his account and directing him to follow a provided hyperlink to clear up the problem. The hyperlink leads not to a legimate site, however, but to a server (usually in another country) on which an imitation web site has been set up. The fooled customer is then prompted to enter confidential personal information (collected by the scammers for perpetrating) identify theft and (usually) redirected to a legitimate web site to obscure the fact that he just gave away data to crooks.