This Phishing doesn't go well with Beer
As careful as I am on the web, never filling out frivolous forms to enter into contests or free gifts or even to register for download sites, I got Phished.
For those of you who don't know what Phishing is, it is usually an email that looks legitimate (here's a PDF copy of the email I received), from a legitimate source such as eBay, and usually asks for some kind of personal information (like the sample form shown in this PDF), often including social security numbers and credit card information.
Some of the better ones, like the one that almost got me, are carbon copies of real email notices from banks, auction sites and other trusted sources. However, any site that is involved with your personal information for legitimate uses will be aware of the growing phenomenon of these clever scams and will never ask for personal information through an email. If there is a valid need for information, they will usually provide some information that you have given them upon signing up to verify your identity, such as the last 4 digits of your Social Security number or credit card number, if one is on file. They will also ask you to log in to your account and further verify your identity before allowing you to adjust any kind of information. This keeps Phishers out, as they will not have access to all the information needed to fulfill these multiple safeguards.
If you suspect you have been Phished, contact the institution who purported to send the request through an outside link, such as a fresh email. Do not click on any link, nor send any kind of information through the email you received. Save the email as is, in your inbox; In case it is a scam, an institution (like eBay or a bank) will often want the email forwarded to a secure server they will provide. As always, your best judgment and intuition are the best weapons you have. Just because you're not paranoid doesn't mean they're not after you... :D [Britt Godwin]