What is phishing?
Phishing (pronounced fishing) is a technique in which scammers try to obtain personal
information by creating and sending out e-mail messages that look like
legitimate business correspondence. The e-mail messages include stolen
logos and mimicked patterns of banks, credit card companies, and
brokerage firms. These messages direct you to a fraudulent Web site
requesting that you update your personal information. Some of the most
recent scams have included Citibank, Washington Mutual, eBay, and PayPal.
often request that you update your information by clicking on a link.
Once you go to the bogus site that looks legitimate, you will be asked
to enter passwords, credit card, bank, or social security numbers, or
other personal information. If you enter this information, scammers will
have access to illegally use your account.
Phishing has become one of the Internet's biggest
concerns. According to Reuters, an IBM survey reported that phishing
grown 5,000% in 2004, making the 18 million reported attacks the
fast-growing Internet threat of the year.
How can I prevent being a victim of
Below are three ways to protect yourself against phishing:
If an e-mail requests that you click on a link and
provide personal information, do not click on it. A different Web
address may be buried in the coding. This link could take you to a
fraudulent Web site created to collect your personal information. Instead, try manually typing the
desired address into your Web browser to be on the safe side.
For preventive reasons, most legitimate institutions do not
use e-mail links to their Web site when requesting
personal information updates. Most businesses will have you go to their site on your
own. If an e-mail does ask for a personal information update, try
getting to that Web page through the institution's Web site. This way, you know the
page is legitimate.
Be cautious of any e-mail asking for personal
information. Some institutions are frequently used in phishing
attacks. Check out the institution's Web site for more information on phishing
attacks. It is common for an institution to post phishing
information if they've been used in attacks. In
general, if you have any doubts
whatsoever, contact the institution
If you have any questions regarding phishing, contact
the Help Desk at 215-204-8000.
What do I do if I've
If you have been a victim of phishing, you should fill out a police
report. If the incident happened on Temple's network, contact the Temple
University Campus Safety Services at 215-204-1234 or 1-1234.