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February 17,2008

  • CC and ID Theft 2009, Pt.3
      ‘Gone phishing'.

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    5) Phishing: Without getting into linguistics, there are probably as many ways to define this term as there people to define it. I prefer the generic use meaning: Someone using an eclectic means to elicit secure credit card and ID information from you. It can be in the form of street talk, phone calls, e-mails, websites links, cookies, spy bots and a host of scams. It almost always comes down to a ‘code 51'. Code 51 is the term we used to use in industry to not insult listening ears while explaining to someone else that the problem was ‘User Error'. We blab. There is no electronic cure for this but, it good to know that, with a properly set up system, Internet shopping is statistically safer then going to the corner store or, even, allowing the neighbors to walk around in of your house. Credit card phishing, today, has become so commonplace that we are unwise to not expect it. Be careful who you trust and what you say. Guard secure credit card information.

    6) Official (counterfeit) Solicitation: this is very similar to phishing except it's almost always verbal. The more successful technique involves a little homework preparation. The credit card or ID thief will already know something about you that most people wouldn't know. They use this to gain your confidence then devise a roll-play to pose as someone who might legitimately ask you for the information that they seek. Never surrender secure credit card or ID information to a stranger who calls you. Offer to call that person right back on their main business phone to verify the person is who they say they are, first.

    7) Watch Your Back: Some call it ‘shoulder surfing', eavesdropping or just ‘wandering eyes'. Sometimes, even hidden cameras are used. WiFi, Blackberry and other non-secure network connections can be tapped. Security codes entered into cell phones, keyboards or ATM and scanner keypads are favorites. At times, I have to look away or close my eyes out of courtesy because people are so careless about this. Not all strangers are as honest as me, however, and it's hard to sort out who the real credit card thieves are. Better to be safe.

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