Tuesday, August 22, 2006

You may have noticed - Canadian Banks are now being Phished on a more regular basis - especially The Royal Bank!

Canadian Banks are now being Phished. What is Mark talking about??

Canadian Bank Clients are Targets for Phishing Scams. And Yes it's true.

A common e-mail scam known as phishing that attempts to trick clients of an online service into divulging their login information has typically been setup to target clients of E-Bay, PayPal or Citibank. We are now beginning to see Canadian financial institutions being used for phishing scams.

Users of online services should always disregard any e-mail that either requests confidential information or provides a link to a services login page. A financial institution will never request confidential information via an e-mail. E-mails of this type should be forwarded to the services online fraud investigation department.

How many times have you heard this "never divulge your personal information" line? High profile cases of identity theft are routinely reported on CNN and MSN, etc. Yet people continue to be scammed. Are people stupid? Well, not really. Perhaps some are just a little more naive than others.

The sophistication of online scams continues to improve and it's becoming more and more difficult to separate the fake from the real. While Canadian financial institutions have been comparatively small enough to fly under the "phisher radar" in the past, it appears that the easy availability of online scamming resources has made it profitable even in Canada, eh?

After all, a phisher really only needs a few people out of tens of thousands of phishing emails to hand over their credit card numbers to make it worth the effort.

What is Phishing?
Phishing occurs when you receive an email claiming to be from PayPal, EBay, a bank or any company that holds important information about you. These emails typically say things like, your account is outdated, there is unusual activity in your account or something of that nature. They will then display a link for you to go to - to update your account information or login to fix whatever problem they are reporting. Unfortunately, the site that the link takes you to is not the actual site, it is a phony site that attempts to fool you by displaying logos and trademarks of the company in question and attempting to spoof the URL that is displayed in the address bar. They want you to enter in all your account information and passwords and they record this information to later gain access to your account and your credit cards.

How do I Prevent Phishing?
Don't believe anything you receive in emails! It isn't often that any reputable company will email you telling you to update your account details. And never follow links in email. Always open your browser and type in the address - that way you know you are going to the right site. A good way to check is to cut and paste the subject of the email you receive into Google and see what comes up. Chances are someone has received this email before you and results will be shown immediately. A good site to check for Phishing attempts is FraudWatchInternational.com.

How do I Report Phishing?
Report Phishing attempts to www.AntiPhishing.org

Or report phishing to your bank, credit card company or the company that is contained in the email.

To learn more about phishing and other forms of identity theft, check out the following links:

http://www.safecanada.ca/identitytheft_e.asp

Article

For more information please contact A. Mark Argentino

A. Mark Argentino Associate Broker, P.Eng.,
Specializing in Residential & Investment Real Estate
RE/MAX Realty Specialists Inc.
2691 Credit Valley Road, Suite 101, Mississauga, Ontario L5M 7A1

BUS 905-828-3434
FAX 905-828-2829
E-MAIL mark@mississauga4sale.com
Website: Mississauga4Sale.com


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