1. Any of various large birds of prey of the New World family Cathartidae or of the Old World family Accipitridae, characteristically having dark plumage and a featherless head and neck and generally feeding on carrion.

2. A person of a rapacious, predatory, or profiteering nature.

The vulture has always boded evil and suffering. Of all the species of vultures out there, probably nothing is more dreaded than the human vultures. They seem to take pleasure and make profit in the suffering of their fellow human being. In the 21st century they are also hi-tech and use the last methods of people engineering. I don’t know if you have heard the term phishing. It is used to describe the act of duping information out of people. This has been a big problem especially in the US.

Usually phishers, send out emails to unsuspecting people with some outrageous offers asking them for their credit card and personal information. They also mask their emails to make it as though the email was coming from a legitimate source. All they need is to setup their website visually similar to the real ones. I have samples for the yahoo and hotmail login page that could get your email id when you type it in and send the details to me(or whoever has set it up). Now with the American people going all out to help the tsunami victims, these phishers have got into the act. Yesterday Mastercard announced that they found 133 cases of Tsunami related phishing. Now the FBI along with Mastercard and other member banks have setup a task force to catch these phishers. To you my loyal readers please follow these following guidelines that could prevent you from falling into this trap.

· Be wary of phishing e-mail. Banks do not contact customers to ask

them to provide sensitive information such as passwords and PINs online.

Look for indications such as spelling and grammatical errors that expose

the e-mail as being not genuine.

· Do not click hastily on links appearing in incoming e-mails and

provide payment card or other personal information. Make it a practice to

connect to an institution’s Web site only by directly typing the

institution’s valid Web address into the Web browser.

· Notify your bank and local law enforcement authorities promptly by

forwarding suspicious phishing-type e-mails. This action will help shut

down the fake Web site and to take action against the criminals.

· Monitor the transactions appearing on your statements, and quickly

report suspicious transactions to your bank.

· Change passwords and PINs periodically.

· Install anti-spam and firewall software on your personal computer to

stop receiving spam and to prevent unauthorized access.

· Turn off your computer when not in use, to avoid criminals gaining

access and misusing it for fraudulent purposes, which includes launching

phishing attacks.

· If you suspect that you have become a victim of a phishing attack and

already have divulged your sensitive account information to fraudsters,

please contact your bank immediately to discuss the appropriate remedial


· Continue to monitor your statement for unauthorized transactions, if

your account is not closed.

· Regularly obtaining personal credit reports from all three credit

reporting agencies and carefully reviewing the information. Question – and

correct – any inaccuracies. The contact information for the credit

reporting agencies is:

· Equifax, call (800)-525-6285 and write: P.O. Box 740241, Atlanta, GA


· Experian, call (888)-397- 3742 and write: P.O. Box 949,

· Allen TX 75013-0949

· TransUnion (800)-680-7289 and write: Fraud Victim Assistance

Division, P.O. Box 6790, Fullerton, CA 92834



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