Tuesday, October 6, 2009


Part of my job is to facilitate requests for phone software training for any of our staff.

I requested one a few days ago and received an e-mail from Bell advising me that there were missing information in my request and directed me to a link. I clicked on the link and got stuck because the site required Bell Account information.

Gut feel told me there was something wrong so I called Help Desk. Further checking by Help Desk informed me that it was a clear example of phishing! It was a fake Bell website - and if I entered our Bell account information I would have given them a chance to use that account for whatever purpose they want.

That was close! How easily could I have entered any information and that would have caused havoc in our systems.

How can you get ripped off by thieves? Let us count the ways!

1. Phall for Phishing. Most folks are aware of phishing, where criminals use spam emails or popup windows to trick people into disclosing personal information. Keep in mind the bad guys are always refining their methods!

2. Shoulder surfing. When logging onto your laptop and desktop, beware of people standing nearby, hoping to catch sight of your passwords.

3. The old-fashioned way. Fraudsters steal wallets, purses and laptops, which likely contain valuable personal information.

4. Social engineering. Thieves pose as government officials or corporate employees and call victims asking for personal information. This is usually done by convincing the victim the information is needed to complete a transaction.

5. The dumpster dive. Criminals rummage through trash, recycling,or paper shredders to find documents containing personal information.

"Trust, but verify" - Ronald Reagan

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