Read this tip to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Online Identity Theft and other Identity Theft topics.
Identity theft phishing is the criminal act of obtaining personal information from an individual using phony e-mails. Some examples of phishing are:
• Criminals pretending to be credit 'fix-it' companies. They lure you with offers to straighten out your credit. You give them your financial information and pay a fee - but then the company disappears.
• Criminals sending an e-mail saying that you've won a prize, won the lottery, or inherited money and they need your Social Security number or other personal information to give you the winnings.
• Criminals using computer identity theft by pretending to be a company you know, like your credit card company or bank. You may receive an e-mail explaining that there has been some type of error or that your account has been compromised, and ask for your account number or to change your password.
Thieves who use phishing scams and other forms of computer identity theft take your money and compromise your identity, using it for credit card applications, loans, medical services, driver's licenses, and official documents. In 2007, phishing scams cost 3.6 million adults $3.2 billion.