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Phishing Around the World

In an effort to clean up their own house, EarthLink, the Internet access provider, went on a phishing expedition of their own, trying to trace the purveyors of phony phishing schemes, and what they found was both startling and disturbing. Many of the phishing scams they were able to track originated in e-mails from around the world, particularly Russia, Romania, other Eastern European countries, and Asia. In Romania, Dan Marius Stefan was convicted of stealing almost half a million dollars through a phishing scam and was sentenced to 30 months in prison.

For every computer geek or small-time phisher, such as convicted identity thief Helen Carr, who used phony e-mail messages purporting to be from AOL to steal people’s money, it appears that more sophisticated organized crime phishing rings are popping up, posing a serious threat to computer and smartphone users. This presents a growing problem for law enforcement.

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