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Beware the Online Phishing Hook

financial fraud

by Kenneth Rudich

Amid the splendor of good stuff we can do with information technology these days, we all have one sacred commitment to keep when it comes to our own financial security: always, always, always be on guard against those lurking online with ill-intent on top of their mind.

I’m not talking about the stupid criminals and trolls that have trouble avoiding detection.  These ones don’t scare me; they’re easy enough to spot and even easier to fend off.

The ones I find frightening are the cyber criminals who are really astute at phishing.  According to the Wikipedia, “phishing is a way of attempting to acquire information such as usernames, passwords, and credit card details by masquerading as a trustworthy entity in an electronic communication.”

The best of them are tech-savvy, they understand human psychology (especially how to exploit it to their advantage), they have guile, and they know that, for the most part, it’s really a numbers game before someone (in fact, probably a lot of people) will fall into their trap.  Even the brightest people are prone to suffer an occasional mental lapse.  And that’s all it takes, just one bad moment. 

Information security solution provider RSA estimates one in every 300 emails floating around the web during 2011 contained some elements pointing to phishing, and those phishing efforts were primarily geared toward perpetrating financial fraud.

“Compared with the total numbers of phishing attacks recorded in 2010, phishing numbers have increased considerably through the past year,” RSA says in its fraud report, The Year in Phishing: January 2012. “The cumulative number of phishing attacks recorded through 2011 was 279,580-a 37 percent increase from 2010.”

New Phishing Warning

As reported by the banking blog,, the Federal Bureau of Investigation recently issued a warning about a new email scheme to take over your computer or mobile device for the purpose of stealing usernames, passwords and money.  It involves a malware aptly called “Gameover.”  It’s precisely this kind of sophistication that merits our unwavering vigilance.

Since we at Marketing Strategy Management regard it as must-know information, we’ve put a link to the article at the end of this post.

While you’re at it, it’s also worthwhile to read through the comments section below the story.  Several people share information about other schemes to be aware of (some of which hooked them).  Others provide good ideas about techniques and practices you can employ to better safeguard your information and/or money accounts from online hackers.

Meanwhile, we hope you’ll come back to this blog again soon – if not even today again – or better yet, subscribe to our blog…and by all means share it!

FBI Warns of New Banking Scam

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