6 Phishing Firstname Lastname 2.1

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GHS Law Partners
Phishing Related Fraud
Phishers prey upon our fears, altruism or greed, to illegally obtain personal information, such
as credit card numbers or passwords, by posing as a legitimate, trustworthy source. The
concept is not new. In the past, the scammers used phones calls or knocked on doors.
Today’s’ increasingly connected world has changed the method, not the goal. One individual
can send out thousands of emails in the time it takes to make one phone call. It is estimated
that as many as 20% of recipients will respond to these emails. 1
Typical emails appear to come from businesses, ISP’s or government agencies, using familiar
logos and color schemes.2 Well crafted emails look much like the real thing, and contain links
to very convincing counterfeit websites. In the past, these emails were often easy to spot, as
the spelling and language errors were obvious, but today’s phishers have become more
sophisticated and the average victim is not even aware he has been scammed, resulting in
identity theft and often financial loss.
The growing problem of phishing related fraud is a concern to the legitimate businesses and
organizations they impersonate, as it erodes customer confidence. The US government,
recognizing the seriousness of this problem, is working on the problem on several fronts: the
Federal Trade Commission operates several useful websites for consumers, Congress passed
the Identity Theft and Assumption Deterrence Act in 1998, which made identity theft a
federal crime subject to as many as 15 years in prison, and on May 10, 2006, by Executive
Order, the President created the Identity Theft Task Force. The goals of the Task Force are:
Estimated to be over 9 million in 2013
eBay® and PayPal® are examples.
6_Phishing_Firstname_Lastname, December 3, 2018
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1. To develop a strategic plan
2. To better prevent identity theft, coordinate prosecution, and ensure recovery for victims.
Ideally, prevention of identity theft by phishing begins with education. There are steps that
individuals can take to safeguard their personal information. The Federal Trade Commission’s
issued a Consumer Alert, How Not to Get Hooked by a ‘Phishing’ Scam. The recommendations
in the report include common sense items, such as “Don’t email personal of financial
information” as well as technical suggestions like “Use anti-virus software and a firewall, and
keep them up to date.” (OnGuard Online) There is also information about what to do if you
have become a victim. Follow the motto is “Deter, Detect, Defend:
 Deter identity thieves by safeguarding your information
 Detect suspicious activity by routinely monitoring your financial accounts and
billing statements
 Defend against ID theft as soon as you suspect a problem.” (Federal Trade
6_Phishing_Firstname_Lastname, December 3, 2018
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Works Cited
Federal Trade Commission. Deter, Defend, Detect: Avoid ID Theft. n.d. 9 October 2006.
OnGuard Online. Phishing. September 2005. 9 October 2006.
6_Phishing_Firstname_Lastname, December 3, 2018
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