Modern day cyber crime is so rife that there are literally thousands of examples of phishing available on the net. Here we will highlight a few of the most common examples.
The Washington Mutual Bank Scam
The Washington Mutual Bank Scam is one of the examples of phishing as it is used for financial institutions. In this scam, recorded by about.com, the customer of the bank receives an email that appears to be from the Washington Mutual Bank. The sender is recorded as Washington Mutual bank and the subject reads, Washington Mutual Security Alert. The content of the mail is well written and lacks grammar or spelling errors. First off, it apologizes for the inconvenience and goes on to explain that the bank has adopted a new method to transfer money due to past fraudulent activities. It mentions that by confirming and updating your details by clicking on the imbedded URL, you will be able to continue doing your online banking business with them. This URL then brings up the fake Washington Mutual Bank site and supplies the phisher with any details filled in.
Also recorded on about.com is the eBay scam which actually posed a great threat to this online giant. As usual, the scam arrived in the form of an email from the reputable company. This email highlighted that there was an error on the user’s account and that this was likely due to either invalid information being submitted at the signup process, an internal error, or a recent change in personal information. For obvious reasons, many people fell for this scam, especially those who had just moved or changed any personal information. Again, it redirected and requested vital information via a replica website.
IRS Tax Refund Phishing Scam
This is one of the examples of phishing scams that uses a particularly evil ploy, a promise of money. In this scam, the content of the email stated that money from the IRS was owed to the individual. In some variations, the phisher was even able to address the mail correctly as opposed to just “Dear Sir”. The redirected web address requested the user to divulge social security numbers and bank details to complete the payment of outstanding funds.
The Nigerian letter
The Nigerian letter scam is one of the oldest examples of phishing and pertains to the simplest of email scams. In this document, the sender appeals to the user to divulge a range of personal information and banking details to assist Nigerian refugees in getting money out of the country. It comes with a promise of a large sum of money to be paid as a fee for the user’s services but produces only fraudulent results.