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New phishing e-mail lures users with US stimulus scheme

The FTC (Federal Trade Commission) and the INTA (International Trademark Association) are warning consumers to be wary of a widespread phishing scam promising to make money available from the U.S. federal stimulus plan if the user provides his credit card details on a certain website.

The e-mail that carries the logo of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) together with the images of President Obama as well as Vice President Biden says it would arrange for the recipient, his share of the federal stimulus payment under a recently passed bill.

However, the e-mail instructs the recipient to click a given link and key in personal financial details into a website that the Association warns is a fake.

The Association also warned that such scams were usually successful as they exploited the relationship between a consumer and a brand, trademark or logo like in the current case the U.S President's government brand along with the IRS. The Wall Street Journal published this on March 25, 2009.

Elucidating on the point, FTC states the IRS never asks for a consumer's personal information over e-mail. The Commission therefore urged end-users to send all such e-mails to phishing@irs.gov and then remove it from their inbox.

The INTA and the FTC added the scam artists generally might ask for a processing fee to potentially know the user's payment card number. Some other tricks to get at personal information consist of asking the user to provide his bank account details so that a money deposit could be allegedly made for the user.

Said Alan Drewsen Executive Director of INTA that unfortunately one finds counterfeiters exploiting people at time the economy is worst hit. Therefore the Association wants everyone to be on guard when online as well as to be aware of the indications of phishing e-mails, Drewsen added. The Oxford Press published this on March 25, 2009.

Meanwhile, the e-mail acts as the most new instance of an attempt to steal identity that is escalating as phishers do everything to extort personal information from innocent denizens of U.S that is worst hit internationally due to the global economic crisis.

Related article: New Zealand Releases Code To Reduce Spam

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