Phishing, of course, is when a scammer sets up a fake website that looks like a real one, trying to capture your real login credentials. A phishing site could masquerade as the login page for your bank, PayPal, your phone account, or any other site where obtaining your credentials could lead to untold mischief. Phishing usually begins with an instant message or an e-mail, but in this case, scammers tried to reel in victims with a phone call.
For customers who don’t know any better, it probably sounded like a great idea. People reported that their phone rang, with caller ID identifying the caller as “BELL ATLANTIC” or something else that could plausibly be Verizon. A recorded message told them to visit the site MyVerizon59.com (which has now been shut down: don’t bother checking) for a $59 credit on their Verizon bill. The site looked like a Verizon login page, but just harvested visitors’ information. Made-up phone numbers and passwords worked, too, when the site was still operational.
This wasn’t the first-ever phishing scheme, and won’t be the last. Be vigilant, check out any too-good-to-be-true promises that come out of nowhere, and check with the company when something just doesn’t sound right. When you find a suspicious site or receive a suspicious call or text message, send the information to firstname.lastname@example.org.