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Man in fishing boatIn the Inside ID Conference report (part 4) I mentioned "phishing" as one of the types of fraudulent activity that is happening on the Internet. Today I received an example personally. This is such a blatant example of fraud I hope and suspect that the Federal Trade Commission is taking swift action. I also hope sharing this here will make more people aware of this kind of sham, and I urge all to let their friends and families know. According to people at the conference I just attended, the positive response rate — people who actually provide their personal information to the phishers — is 30%. That is extraordinarily high compared to spam or legitimate advertising.

Here is the verbatim fraudulent email which I received. In addition to the basic fraud attempting to get personal information from others, the email uses “spoofing”. Spoofing is a technique — unfortunately not hard to do — whereby the “from” address was modified to [email protected] to make it look like that is where it came from. The actual hyperlink in the email goes to http://hostingprod.com/@ebay-log-in.com/ This is obviously not an eBay server.

Below is the result of your feedback form. It was submitted by
[email protected] on Sunday, December 14, 2003 at 08:36:27

: Dear valued eBay member,

It has come to our attention that your eBay Billing Information records are out of date. That requires you to update your billing information. If you could please take 5-10 minutes out of your online experience and update your billing records, you will not run into any future problems with eBay’s online service. However, failure to update your records will result in account termination. Please update your records in maximum 24 hours.

Once you have updated your account records, your eBay session will not be interrupted and will continue as normal. Failure to update will result in cancellation of service, Terms of Service (TOS) violations or future billing problems.

Please click here to update your billing records.

Thank you for your time!
Stacey Cohen,
eBay Billing Department team.