Types of Phishing Scams

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What Are Phishing Scams?

Phishing scams are types of scams wherein the fraudster attempts to obtain the personal information of the victim. For instance, they may seek to obtain the person’s credit card info, passwords, Social Security information, and other data. Phishing usually involves the fraudster setting up a fake situation, such as a fake sweepstakes or a fake job interview. The person would then be required to provide their private information in order to claim their prize or proceed with an interview.

From there, the scammer may be able to use the person’s accounts, collect money, or conduct an overall identify theft.

What Are Some Types of Phishing Scams to Watch out For?

Phishing scams can take many forms. The most common forms include scams over postal mail, or "vishing" (voice phishing) scams conducted over the phone. Some newer types of phishing scams to watch for include:

Basically, any new types of communication, especially electronic/digital messages sent over the internet, are prone to becoming an avenue for phishing scams. Thus, it’s important that you only share your information with parties that are trusted, and that you do so over secure internet connections.

Are There Any Legal Penalties for Phishing Scams?

Persons or groups caught perpetrating phishing scams may face legal consequences. In some cases, this can result in serious misdemeanor charges, which are punished with criminal fines and/or some jail times. Phishing scams that involve the altering or manipulation of federal websites or the deceit of federal officials can result in federal felony charges.

Do I Need a Lawyer for Help with Phishing Scam Issues?

Phishing scams are abundant and can catch large numbers of unsuspecting consumers every year. You may need to hire a lawyer if you suspect that you or your company has been a victim of a phishing scam. Your attorney can help determine if there has been a violation and whether you have any legal recourse available. Also, your lawyer can help you if you need to be represented in court.

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Last Modified: 02-11-2014 11:49 AM PST

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