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Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Phishing Scams

Most people who have an online account or email account of some sort know about phishing scams. These are where idiots send out millions of unsolicited emails pretending to be someone else (usually a bank or online trading company) and try to solicit you to log into a bogus site and render your account details.

The existence of such scams has led to more people distrusting online trading, where no distrust should really exist. Common sense should prevail, but fear erodes logic. These scams will continue until something is done internationally to close the scams down. The people responsible for these phishing projects are alienating the ordinary consumer from using the Internet to shop and trade; and those lofty institutions who stand to lose most from the phishing scams are not doing much about it - or so it seems.

Paypal is taking a robust stance, at least. There are lots of emails doing the rounds at the moment from people masquerading as Paypal (they do it very badly, by the way, so it's quite easy to tell the difference), but Paypal's policy is quite firm: they will not send you an email asking for your account details or password, nor should you divulge this to anyone who pretends to be Paypal. Ebay is also taking a proactive stance against phishing along similar lines.

But other financial institutions are very slow to react. This is to the jeopardy of themselves and the trading community as a whole, worldwide.

As consumers all we want is honesty. It's in the interest of anyone who has a credit card, a Paypal account or an Internet connection to ensure that scum like the phisherfolk are put behind bars. Governments take note.

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