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Microsoft phishing filterPhoto by Rodrigo Galindez

Some of you may think that there’s a typo in the headline, but the word “Phishing” is no mistake and should be cause for concern. Phishing pronounced “fishing”, is a technique used by internet fraudster in the attempt to tick bank and credit card customers to innocently reveal their security detail so that they can gain access to the individual accounts.

Phishing has been around for years in the UK, US, and in many of other mainland countries. Readers who follow international financial or business news would know the term.

Some reader might be thinking “man, Dominica is too small for crooks to bother with us”. And I understand why, because I too use to think the same way. Well that delusional way of thinking was abruptly dismissed a few months ago, when our FedEx Regional office in Trinidad warned all employees of an e-mail that was being circulated purporting to be from FedEx IT Team and was directing employees to a website that looked very authentic.

So how does Phishing work?

From what understand, you receive an e-mail purporting to be from a financial institution or business with which you have a relationship. This e-mail would suggest that they have experienced a failure or security breach and require you to confirm your security credentials.

In most cases the email would contain a link to a log-on screen that looks very much like the institution’s website, however it is a fake. The details you enter into this site are recorded by the fraudsters for them to use at the real site and gain access to your account.

This is basic an example of Identity Theft and there are a lot more sophisticated techniques that criminals are using to gain security and other personal information from unsuspecting Internet users. So don’t ever think that Dominica is too small and is prone to these types’ internet crimes. In fact the Caribbean is the ideal place for these fraudsters to launch their attract. Most of the law enforcement agencies in the Caribbean, particularly Dominica are new to these types of internet crimes. In my next post, I will list some ways people can protect themselves against Internet fraud and phishing.

Have you been reeled in by phishing scammers? Like the individuals hoping to share in the Nigerian man’s fortune – is it greed or is it a mistake anyone could make? Tell us in the comments.

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