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In 2005, the PayPal website was exploited by identity thieves seeking to steal credit card numbers and other personal information from PayPal clients. The scam, called pharming, or page hijacking, tricked consumers by sending them to a phony page that asked for personal information to 'resolve technical difficulties.' The scammers asked for user names, passwords, Social Security numbers, and credit card numbers of account holders. This 'PayPal' identity theft scam put many consumers at risk of becoming victims.
Pharming, now called "phishing without a lure," can be a more devastating crime than phishing, due to the large numbers of consumers who can be victimized in one act. By redirecting a website's traffic to a phony website, consumers run the risk of having their identities compromised when they think they are accessing online businesses and banks. Spyware protection and anti-virus software will not stop phishing. Online credit report identity theft can be avoided or put to a halt by keeping track of your bank statements, watching your credit, and taking measures to protect your personal information.