Online scams abound and they have created a language all their own.
One new term from this area is "phishing," which translates to criminals baiting a hook in the hopes of snagging such keepers as a Social Security number, password or bank account.
Criminals use e-mails and Web sites that are designed to imitate well-known legitimate businesses, organizations and government agencies. The deception is designed to convince people to disclose their bank and financial account information or other personal data -- including those Social Security numbers' usernames and passwords. Information gained is used for identity theft or fraud.
Use of e-mails and Web sites to get personal information, such as Social Security or bank account numbers, from people.
The Department of Justice recently reported The Anti-Phishing Working Group, which was formed in October by industry and law enforcement, had identified 282 new phishing scams in February. That was an increase from 176 scams the previous month. The Department of Justice reported about 70 percent have been traced to eastern Europe or Asia.
Recently Crow Wing County Commissioner Terry Sluss reported getting an offer online that proposed $1.50 Marlboro cigarettes. Sluss reported the incident. He was convinced it was a scam to avoid paying sales taxes. The offer originated oversees. Sluss said he had concerns the scam may be conducted as a way to generate revenue for terrorists.
"My guess is if you sent them the money, you would never see the cigarettes," he said.
For more information, go to www.antiphishing.org. or see the Department of Justice's report by going to www.usdoj.gov and typing "phishing" in the search option.
RENEE RICHARDSON can be reached at email@example.com or 855-5852.
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