Last week, we talked about a type of consumer fraud known as identity theft. We discovered how it can happen and what signs to be aware of. This week, we are going to focus on a second type of consumer fraud known as phishing.
Phishing is a practice used by scam artists to coerce a party into giving out personal information that could then be used for fraudulent purposes. Most phishing is done via the internet by online hackers. An individual looking to commit fraud may email or send an instant message to a party alleging that there is a problem with an account that requires confirmation of personal information to access. Some parties even receive messages stating that they have unclaimed money or a refund waiting. Phishers may ask for a name, date of birth, address, Social Security number, password or even account numbers.