Fighting Phishing with AJAX – A Call to Arms

I have always wanted to beat “phishers” at their own game. Briefly, a phishing scam creates a page that looks like a legitimate site, requesting user name and password information. The scammers send phony requests via electronic mail under a variety of pretenses, urging customers to follow the enclosed link. Instead of going to your bank or eBay or PayPal, the link goes to their rogue server that looks like a legitimate site and the information is logged there for subsequent criminal activity.

As a rule, if everyone who received a phising attempt (or a mortgage solicitation for that matter) took the time to follow the link, then input bogus data, then the scam / solicitation would instantly be rendered ineffective. The criminals would be faced with sorting through thousands of garbage records in order to locate the actual victims.

Unfortunately as a society, we’re don’t do all that well at things that benefit the “collective good”, so we’re stuck with scams in our mailboxes.

But AJAX changes that.

Credit Card Fraud: It’s Time for Banks to Play Offence

Every once in a while organized crime gives me a call. It’s not that I’m so special, they just happen to know my phone number. The call comes in “Unknown number” which is a warning sign in itself. Then I’ve won a trip to Florida, Vegas, or wherever. Red flag. Press nine and you get a very happy and enthusiastic person who wants to give you a free trip, all you have to do is be a credit card holder.

Stop right there. These people are offering you great sounding (and nonexistent) stuff for the sole purpose of capturing your name and credit card number so they can rip you off. (more…)