Phishing is a type of deception designed to steal your identity.
This type of scheme can be carried out in person, standard mail, email, instant messenging and even over the phone. In addition, they can be delivered online through spam e-mail or pop-up windows. In phishing scams, scam artists try to get you to disclose valuable personal data, credit card numbers, passwords, account data, or other information by convincing you to provide it under false pretenses.The message might appear to be genuine, but if you respond to it, you might be putting yourself and/or your employer at risk.
A phishing scam sent by e-mail may start with con artists who send millions of e-mail messages that appear to come from popular Web sites or sites that you trust, like your bank or credit card company. The e-mail messages, pop-up windows, and the Web sites they link to appear official enough that they deceive many people into believing that they are legitimate. Unsuspecting people too often respond to these requests for their credit card numbers, passwords, account information, or other personal data. These scam artists are becoming very cleaver as can be seen in their phishing e-mail messages and pop-up windows. They often include official-looking logos from real organizations and other identifying information taken directly from legitimate Web sites. To make these phishing e-mail messages look even more legitimate, the scam artists may place a link in them that appears to go to the legitimate Web site, but it actually takes you to a phony scam site or possibly a pop-up window that looks exactly like the official site. These copycat sites are also called "spoofed" Web sites. Once you're at one of these spoofed sites, you might unwittingly send personal information to the con artists. They then often use your information to purchase goods, apply for a new credit card, or otherwise steal your identity.