Be Aware: Identity Thieves Sending Economic Stimulus Package related spam messages.
The suffering economy seems to be President Obama's priority and passing the new stimulus package is something that a lot of people would like to see happen. Recently identity thieves are prepared to take advantage of this situation by stealing personal information from people who fall victim to their "stimulus package scam".
A new spam message scandal discovered by security researchers including Dermot Harnett, one of Symantec Corp's principal researchers, is using the $900 billion stimulus package as a hook to get users to fill out a so-called IRS form. The $900 billion stimulus packed has not even been through Congress as of yet but already being exploited by crooks. The messages linked form asks for way more information than the actual IRS would ever do. Some of the questions in the bogus form ask for your e-mail address, mailing address, date of birth and even your salary range. The bogus message reads:
"After the last annual calculations of your fiscal activity, we have determined that you are eligible to receive a stimulus payment."
The message has a link that even includes fake testimonials where one says:
"I found the grant I needed and filled out the forms and sent them in, and in about two weeks I received a check in my hand for $100,000."
In this difficult economic time for many people in America, this scam may gain a lot of ground in compromising people's identity due to the attractive nature of the spam message offer.
Another stimulus related scam is where a spam message promises a CD that shows you how to claim an economic stimulus grant. Not only will they "offer" this CD but they ask for credit card information to cover handling and shipping charges. Obviously this would be a chance for the thieves to charge your credit card any amount that they want too. Oh, these identity thieves are getting good. They are literally beating Obama to the punch with his own stimulus package.
It is very unfortunate that America and other areas of the world are in the current trying economic conditions. The last thing a lot of the hurting people need is a scam to steal their identity. Let this be an advisory to you and anyone that you know to make them aware of scams like this. It is advisable to always keep your system clean and secure while using a program or spam filter to identify messages such as these. Common since and a little research never hurts as it can save you from identity theft which is something that none of us can really afford right now.