For Immediate Release July 15, 2005
Contact: Michele Ackles, DTI, Deputy Principal Assistant
(302) 739-9654 (office)
(302) 382-7351 (cell)
Lori Sitler, Attorney General's Office, Public Information Officer
(302) 577-8314 Phone
(302) 247-1132 Pager
(Dover) - Attorney General M. Jane Brady and Secretary of Technology and Information, Tom Jarrett, warn Delaware residents that numerous "Phishing" websites are currently circulating throughout the state with many being sent via email directly to resident's computers.
Phishing is a term used in the technology area to describe the creation of emails/websites that look like they come from legitimate organizations and sources, but actually are sites created to try to secure personal information from unsuspecting users. The creators of these sites are trying to get people to disclose personal financial and other information like bank account, credit card and social security numbers so that they may be gathered to be used for unlawful purposes, or to be sold to others for unlawful use.
"Most troubling to me is the fact that these emails often assure the recipient that the reason for needing to verify account information is to safeguard the account from identity thieves! Consumers will often recognize the logo of the bank or other business in the email and assume that the request is from a legitimate source," said Attorney General Brady.
DTI Secretary Jarrett personally received one of the attached phishing sites via email. "We want to alert our citizens to this very real cyber threat and illustrate how clever and creative these illegal sites are becoming," said Jarrett. "We caution you never to provide any private information to a website without verifying that it is, in fact, legitimate. If you have any questions whatsoever regarding a website's legitimacy, do not provide your information and contact the organization directly via telephone or check with the Attorney General's office.
The Consumer Protection Unit of the Attorney General's Office can assist Delawareans who have questions about phishing and identity theft. The toll free number for the Consumer Protection Unit is (800) 220-5424.
Note to media: Below is an actual example of a phishing site sent to some users on the state network. The links have been disabled so that you cannot access this illegal site.
From: Chevy [ mailto:email@example.com ]
Sent: Tuesday, July 12, 2005 10:33 PM
Subject: Online Banking - Verify Your Account Information
Chevy Chase Bank - Unauthorized charge to your credit card
Dear Chevy Chase Bank customer. Please read this message and follow it's instructions.
Unauthorized Account Access
We recently reviewed your account, and we suspect an unauthorized ATM based transaction on your account. Therefore as a preventive measure we have temporary limited your access to sensitive Chevy Chase Bank features.
To ensure that your account is not compromised please login to Chevy Chase Online Banking and Investing by clicking this link, verify your identify and your online accounts will be reactivated by our system.
Important information from Chevy Chase Bank.
This e-mail contains information directly related to your account with us, other services to witch you have subscribed, and/or any application you may have submitted.
Chevy Chase Bank and its service providers are committed to protecting your privacy and ask you not to send sensitive account information through e-mail.