The Most Common Scams
As of February 2011, the most phished sites included PayPal, HSBC Bank, Chase Bank, Facebook, Ebay, Bank of America, Visa, Lloyds and Banco Santander. These are in the order of most attacked, so this means that PayPal is the most phished site.
Those popular Nigerian spam emails are also a form of phishing. Most people know to simply delete these and move on, but plenty of people are still falling for this scam. This scam involves telling people that a long lost relative has died and left them a very large amount of money. The phisher asks the victim to send them some money and often their bank account information so that they can transfer the money into their account. Once the phisher has the cash and account information, they can wreak havoc, never to be heard from again.
Now, while email is certainly the most popular way to pull off a phishing scam, phishers do use other methods as well to get the information they seek. Phishing scams are also conducted via instant messaging, chat rooms, mailing lists, message boards, fake browser toolbars, cellphone text messages, fake banner ads, fake job offers and fake job search sites.