Phishing and Social Engineering

The Ohio State University at Lima
Technical Bulletin #200411010854


There have been many reports of e-mail being received from PayPal or E-bay asking you to verify your information. Most likely these are fake. The goal of the scammers is to get you to disclose your information, such as credit card numbers, bank account numbers, even SSNs. This is called "phishing".

Phishing is a high-tech scam that uses spam or pop-up messages to deceive you into disclosing your credit card numbers, bank account information, Social Security number, passwords, or other sensitive information.

Commonly seen are e-mail messages claiming to be from e-bay, PayPal, AmeriCredit, even legitimately named banks and financial institutions. Legitimate companies, however, do not ask for this kind of information by e-mail.

DO NOT FOLLOW THE LINKS ON THE E-MAIL MESSAGES. DO NOT SUBMIT ANY INFORMATION TO THESE SITES, OR REPLY TO THE E-MAILS. Just delete them. If you so desire, you may add it to your Eudora Junk filter by selecting the message and using the Message | Junk menu item.

An excellent source for more information on phishing can be found here, from the FTC website.

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And also check here, from the US-Computer Emergency Readiness Team website.

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Copyright 2004 The Ohio State University at Lima
Modified on 2004-12-21.