Just like everyone else who has an e-mail account, I get SPAM constantly. The best junk-e-mails are those telling me I’ve won a lottery or asking me for help in getting buckets of cash out of impoverished Third World Nations. Those are a real hoot, especially for an editor since the grammar is usually atrocious.
The most insidious of the phishing scams, though, are the ones that seem to make every effort to really hoodwink someone. They provide convincing graphics and links to websites that look just like those belonging to businesses you may actually be dealing with. They tell you your account is suspended or will be shortly and you have to confirm your password in order not to lose access to your money, line of credit, etc.
I got one like that today that was so clever it screwed itself. Supposedly CHASE bank e-mailed to inform me that due to a software upgrade it was imperative that I update my customer information. The e-mail was emblazoned with the CHASE logo and told me my cooperation was ‘obligatory.’ Now right there they lost me – because in this economic climate, I’m predisposed to automatically NOT do anything a credit card company or bank wants me to do.
But I was bored and I was at work where none of my personal info is stored on the computer, so I clicked on the link and was taken to a very convincing facsimile of the CHASE portal website. The page was full of CHASE links, many of them active and looking very legitimate.
I decided to click on the ‘Learn more about online fraud’ link, which took me to a page listing types of on-line fraud including phishing. The phishing link took me to the page where CHASE lists all the phishing scams perpetrated on their customers and what did I come across? You guessed it, the EXACT e-mail I had received, supposedly from CHASE.
I’d just like to say kudos to the web-whiz cyber criminal who came up with this. Creating a phishing scam that actually links to a warning about the very phishing scam you’re perpetrating is sheer evil genius. You belong in the Super Villian Hall of Fame for this one.
Keep this up, and cyber crime will be extinct in no time.