AG warns about phishing

(April 13, 2004) — (Little Rock-AP) -- Attorney General Mike Beebe has targeted folks who are phishing in computers in Arkansas. Phishing refers to e-mails that pretend to be from a legitimate sender but aren't. The e-mails sent to unsuspecting recipients can result in stealing personal information or the spread of viruses. Beebe said in a news release that consumers have to be more careful than ever when reading their e-mails. He said there are two common types of scams. Both involve e-mails that appear to have been sent from legitimate Internet addresses, and will inform the recipient of a supposed problem with an account or a purchase. One type will include an attachment that, when opened up, may contain a virus or worm. That attachment could mine a computer for information, and send it to someone who shouldn't have it. Beebe said e-mails from legitimate operations telling a consumer of a problem will rarely include attachments. He said the other type will include an Internet link for the recipient to follow. But when the link is followed, the user is taken to deceptive Web sites that appear to be legitimate, but aren't -- and where the user may be asked for personal information. Beebe says that, if you have any doubts about an e-mail that claims to be from a company or agency you do business with, pick up the phone and call them.