Search and You Shall Find in My World

13 January 2008

Phishing for Life

A columnist of the Cebu Daily News wrote an article on phishing today. Phishing is defined by Wikipedia as “an attempt to criminally and fraudulently acquire sensitive information, such as usernames, passwords and credit card details, by masquerading as a trustworthy entity in an electronic communication.” Mr Radel Paredes became one of the victims of identity thief and emails are proliferating now telling everyone in his address book that he is robbed in Canada and he badly needed US$2,500 and should be deposited in his account. He is currently in Cebu and never been to Canada.

Last year, my friend Judy was also a victim. I was shocked when I received an email telling me she was somewhere in Africa and in dire need of money because she was robbed there. Shocking because I just saw her a few hours back. Unless of course, if she became one of those Heroes or X-Men characters. Imagine if I never knew it was a hoax. But well, I don’t have a single cent, how much more a $2,500 so I would surely not giving her money. But what if?

I also remember way back then, about two years ago, someone claiming to be a friend of mine was asking for my nude pictures. My ego bloating, I gave the person my trust. Only to find out much later that my nude pictures were distributed via email to the whole Bohol Provincial Capitol employees with a shocking headliner: CAPITOL EMPLOYEE IN A THREESOME SCANDAL or some sort. Imagine my nude picture, taken in my room with no one in site except me and my body, being circulated as having been caught with threesome partners! Well, with a small brain the Capitol employees (and even heads of offices) had, they believe the story. But publicity, no matter how bad it is, is still publicity. So sikat ako.

Anyway that was not phishing hahahaha.

What I mean is- we don’t have to believe what these people are telling us to do even if the information came from a “reliable” source. Nowadays, great minds can create miracles right before your eyes.

So don’t forward those emails telling you to fillup something and win a prize, or those emails telling you this site is closing down unless you forward them to thousands of friends. It is spamming and a scam.

As what Mr. Paredes wrote in his column: The internet is a great tool for strengthening human relationships. But phishing and other scams also easily reverses this. While it facilitates sharing among people, it also gives ample room for the greedy and the opportunistic.

So be aware.

More info on how phishing works can be read at

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