Personal Finance Tip of the Day

Handy Law Answer Book
ISBN: 9781578592173

What is phishing?

  • It occurs when fraudulent e-mails are sent.
  • It is sent with the aim of gaining bank account or credit card information.
  • It disguises identity thieves with false claims of being an accredited financial institution.
  • It is being fought with laws in some states.

Phishing refers to the fraudulent activity of sending an e-mail under false pretenses with the goal of obtaining bank account or credit card information from an unsuspecting consumer. The e-mails often falsely claim to be a financial institution, like your personal bank, but are really identity thieves in disguise. They ask for personally identifiable information that they would then use for nefarious purposes. The e-mails usually contain a link to a website. If the consumer clicks on the link in the e-mail, it takes them to a screen and asks for login information in the form of account numbers and passwords. Do not even open these e-mails and by all means do not provide account number information.

Some states have passed laws defining and prohibiting phishing. For example, Arkansas law defines phishing as "the use of electronic mail or other means to imitate a legitimate company or business in order to entice the user into divulging passwords, credit card numbers, or other sensitive information for the purpose of committing theft or fraud."

From The Handy Law Answer Book by David L. Hudson, Jr., JD., (c) 2010 Visible Ink Press(r) Combines practical legal tips with an exhaustive overview of U. S. law to answer to more than 800 legal questions.
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