Wikipedia describes phishing as “… the criminally fraudulent process of attempting to acquire sensitive information such as usernames, passwords and credit card details by masquerading as a trustworthy entity in an electronic communication“.
During the last week one particular new form of phishing has come to my notice through people I know who have almost been caught out. It goes like this – you get a phone call from a call centre, the guy on the end of the line introduces himself as a Microsoft employee and that they have detected through the Internet that you have a virus on your computer. He then directs you to a website where you can download a piece of software that will confirm to you that you have an infection. To deal with the infection you will have to pay …. you can do that now over the phone using your credit card!
Well obviously, by this stage most of you will have realised that you shouldn’t be giving your credit card details to this guy. But if you have got to this stage it is a bit late anyway. You have allowed him to direct you to a website and downloaded software that may well be scanning your hard disc for information and reporting it back to him. Or it may have installed some other form of malware (malicious software).
So be careful. Don’t be fooled. Just think about what is happening. How have Microsoft got your phone number? How do they know that you are running a Windows based computer and not an Apple? Or an Acorn 😎
Take care and make sure that your security software is up to date.