WWW FAQs: What is phishing?


2004-12-09: "phishing" is the act of sending out email messages that are more or less exact copies of legitimate HTML emails that well-known companies such as Amazon send out. Exactly the same in every way... except that the actual site to be reached by clicking on the link in the email is the site of the criminals doing the "phishing." That site then makes every effort to look an awful lot like Amazon, and the uninformed fish will bite, typing in their Amazon username and password, credit card number or other requested information when asked to do so.

The best way to avoid phishing: don't click on links in email messages! Go to the site in question yourself, by using one of your favorites or bookmarks or by typing in the site name in the location bar at the top of your browser window. Also be sure to heed any warnings about specific phishing scams in progress that may be mentioned on the home pages of your bank, Amazon, eBay, and other frequent phishing targets.

Legal Note: yes, you may use sample HTML, Javascript, PHP and other code presented above in your own projects. You may not reproduce large portions of the text of the article without our express permission.

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