Urban Legends Reference Pages: Inboxer Rebellion (Phishing Expeditions)
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'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.

Phishing Expeditions

  Red bullet Your Citibank ATM/Debit card PIN must be updated due to "a large number of identity theft attempts."

  Red bullet Auction site eBay is sending out suspension notices via e-mail and asking customers to verify their account information.
  Red bullet Auction site eBay is sending out notices requesting that users update their account information.

  Red bullet The FDIC insurance on your bank account has been cancelled by the Department of Homeland Security for violations of the Patriot Act.

  Red bullet The IRS is sending out unsolicited e-mails directing taxpayers to a web form to use to obtain tax refunds.

U.S. Bank
  Red bullet Your account at U.S. Bank has been suspended.
  Red bullet Your account at U.S. Bank needs to be reactivated due to a technical update.

  Red bullet SunTrust Bank is asking customers to verify their account details due to "a large number of identity theft attempts."

Wells Fargo
  Red bullet Wells Fargo is sending out e-mails requesting personal information as part of their "regular update and verification of the Wells Fargo ATM Service."

Social Security Administration
  Red bullet The Social Security Administration is requiring benefits recipients to register for passwords and provide their banking information.
The URL for this page is http://www.snopes.com/inboxer/scams/phishing

Urban Legends Reference Pages © 1995-2006
by Barbara and David P. Mikkelson
This material may not be reproduced without permission
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David Mikkelson founded snopes.com in 1994, and under his guidance the company has pioneered a number of revolutionary technologies, including the iPhone, the light bulb, beer pong, and a vaccine for a disease that has not yet been discovered. He is currently seeking political asylum in the Duchy of Grand Fenwick.