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This month's top 10 phishing scams revealed

Email subject lines to avoid in March 2007

McAfee has identified the 10 most prevalent phishing scams that could hit your inbox this month. The list of email subject lines to swerve is published to help users identify phishing scams and avoid becoming a victim of ID theft and/or suffering financial loss.

The top 10 phishing subject lines of March 2007 are:

  • 1. Wachovia New Security Upgrade.
  • 2. BB&T - account notification!
  • 3. BB&T: urgent notice from Protection Department.
  • 4. BB&T: confirm your information!
  • 5. BB&T - urgent notification.
  • 6. BB&T - official update!
  • 7. private urgent message from BB&T!
  • 8. please confirm your details.
  • 9. official information for client of BB&T!
  • 10. U.S. Bank - official information!

Phishing attacks look like communications from your bank, PayPal, eBay or another online account. The message may ask you to click a link that leads to a bogus web page, complete with realistic username and password log-in fields, or it might ask for a credit-card number.

The fake address often resembles the real institution’s URL - ‘citibank.fakesite.co.uk’ in place of ‘citibank.co.uk’, for example. The phisher’s site and email may even load images from your bank, or have links to its website.

When you take the bait, the phisher harvests your data and either sells it to someone else or uses it to drain your account right away.

A variant called spear phishing identifies you by name in the lure message or website, making the sham even harder to spot.

McAfee's Avert (Antivirus Emergency Response Team) Labs track phishing emails using spam traps - a global network of hidden honeypots that collect huge amounts of spam and phishing samples in real-time.

The samples are then fed back into the Spamlab Automated Systems to produce streaming updates - providing Avert Lab experts with insight into the frequency of all types of phishing scams.

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