Phishing is a scam where someone tries to get valuable information from people by sending out mass emails to every email address they can obtain. The email will appear to come from a trusted source, such as a bank or financial institution, and the message will most likely state that you need to update your information. However, the link provided in the email will NOT take you to the website of the trusted source. Instead, you will be entering your information on a website run by scammers. Many people have given their account number, password, SSN, date of birth, etc to scammers through this type of scam. The scammers in turn open credit cards in your name and steal your identity.
Pharming is very similar to phishing. Pharming involves providing you with a link that secretly directs you to a copy-cat website. Everything APPEARS legitimate because the scammer has created a website that looks like one you are used to seeing. Graphics, company logos, and links that look like a financial institution’s website can be deceiving, but keep in mind that NO FINANCIAL INSTITUTION WILL EMAIL YOU AND ASK FOR ALL OF YOUR SENSITIVE INFORMATION.
Since identity theft from online scams is the fastest growing crime today, you want to be sure that you have implemented the following at the very least: