I woke up today to find out in the wee hours of the night, I opened an account on a gaming site. While I was in my bed dreaming of being back in the classroom with no one was listening to me, I also purchased some credits to this gaming site.

At first I thought it was just someone typing in the wrong email account. But then when I saw I had four different emails from the gaming site, I thought maybe I should look a bit further into this matter. I contacted the site and told them I didn’t sign up for this account and someone was using my email account. They quickly contacted me and told me they were in the process of closing the account because it appeared “fraudulent”.

Then I read the article stating about 10,000 hotmail accounts were being compromised online. Apparently user names and passwords were hacked into and published on the mighty World Wide Web. The goal of the hackers appeared to be to get people to disclose passwords and other important information for the other accounts they have linked to their email account.

I wish I could say this is the first time I have been a part of a phishing scam.

A few weeks ago, someone purchased a whole bunch of cell numbers from a pretty popular cell phone company and went on another phishing scam. This time, the person would get a text saying their credit card was being blocked and you had to call the number to find out why it was blocked. I instead looked the company the text came from up online and found out it was a phishing scam in which you call the number and you give them your account number and they assure you the fraudulent purchases will be stopped. But really, they now have your credit crad number and will go on a shopping spree.

This is really getting out of hand.

The only advice I can give people who think they may be involved in a phishing scam is to look into the company the text or email came from. Contact the company and try to get a real person on the phone. Discuss what information was presented to you and most likely you will find out it was just another phishing scam.

Do not give out your information unless you know you made the initial contact first.

Although phishing scams are very scary at first, keep in mind the scam is all about looking for information. They don’t have much information on you and they are hoping to scare you enough to give them more information. Keep changing your passwords and most importantly keep yourself informed.