GeoTrust Warns of Rapidly Growing Internet/Web “Pfishing” Scams

Wellesley, Mass.­GeoTrust, Inc., a leader in identity and security solutions for e-business and the world’s second largest certificate authority, today issued a warning to consumers who shop or conduct banking business online to beware of fraudulent emails messages coming from individuals masking themselves as legitimate online merchants, banks or Internet service providers (ISPs).

Growing in frequency and commonly referred to as “pfishing” scams, criminals are sending tens of thousands of phony email messages a day to unsuspecting online consumers that appear authentic and come from popular merchants, ISPs and financial institutions such as Amazon, eBay, Earthlink and Fleet Bank. The individual is typically asked to update their account information, but unbeknownst to them, they are being scammed, with criminals walking away with credit card information, social security numbers, online checking account information, home address and telephone numbers.

To avoid being “pfished,” GeoTrust is helping consumers fight back.

Top 5 Ways Consumers Can Avoid Being “Pfished”

  1. Never give away personal information such as name, password, credit card numbers or social security numbers unless you initiated the contact with an online merchant or bank. Legitimate institutions do not contact customers by email to inquire about updating account information.

  2. Look for the closed lock symbol on the bottom of your Web browser. This verifies that you are using a secure Web site.

  3. Change passwords frequently and use uncommon passwords when doing business online.

  4. Encrypt your emails when providing merchants with personal information such as social security and credit card numbers.

  5. Read online bank statements thoroughly each month and look for unauthorized transactions.

About GeoTrust, Inc.

GeoTrust, Inc., an emerging leader in Identity and Trust Services, helps organizations of all sizes secure e-commerce transactions, trusted identities and fully managed trusted environments for conducting e-business. GeoTrust’s Web Security Services offer hosting providers and businesses with world-class digital certificates for fast transaction security and patent-pending smart-seals to ensure a trusted identity on the Web. GeoTrust also offers managed security services for large enterprises. With more than 70,000 companies in over 140 countries using its technology for transaction security, GeoTrust is the second largest digital certificate provider in the world. GeoTrust can be reached at or 800-944-0492.