$39 Software Stops $6 Billion Email Scams

London, UK, 15 January 2003: Like winter colds and successful marketing, Identity Theft has become almost viral. Identity theft is one of the fastest growing crimes in the United States, affecting 1,000,000 people annually at a cost of $6 Billion.

In a long line of similar, relatively unsophisticated scams (that go back as far as 1997), thousands of email users have been duped into willingly parting with confidential data including credit card numbers and passwords.

Con artists pretending to be legitimate companies often send out scam e-mails that tell recipients someone has tampered with their account or that some unspecified fraud is suspected. The e-mail tells the recipient to click on a link leading to a site where visitors can enter or change their username and password and update their personal information.

“These scams could easily have been prevented”, asserts Steve Mathews, one of the authors of BS7799 (now ISO/IEC 17799) and an authority on Internet security. “The reason why people fall for these types of scams is that they believe the email came from a genuine source in the first place. It is very easy to alter the “From” field in an email message to pretend to be someone else. The issue is further complicated by the fact that companies are sending out their own share of legitimate appeals, urging some people whose accounts have been tampered with to change their passwords. Even savvy users have a hard time telling the difference between scam mail and the real deal.”

Mathews’ stand is supported by critics who have gone on record saying that Internet auction and payment services companies need to strengthen their fraud prevention efforts, not just by cracking down on criminals and increasing education efforts, but by changing the way they communicate with legitimate alerts.

No company is to be singled out. These scams attack all types of industry. Finance establishments however are an attractive target and even Bank of America was hit in February last year.

The foolproof solution is security software like ContentAssurity. It allows the senders to digitally sign the text they send as an email to their customers. The customers receive this in their normal email application, copy the text into ContentAssurity Reader and press the ‘Unprotect/Verify’ button. ContentAssurity verifies the signature on the message and checks that the text has not been altered. ContentAssurity Reader is available as a free download from http://www.ArticSoft.com/contentassurity.htm

When companies like eBay, PayPal and Yahoo use ContentAssurity then their customers can verify that the information they receive actually comes from them and has not been altered in any way. If they receive mail messages that are not signed, then they would know not to trust them.

ContentAssurity costs just $39, a small price to pay for the trust of millions of customers.

Download your demo sample of ContentAssurity at :
http://www.articsoft.com/contentassurity.htm

About ArticSoft
ArticSoft has one goal… providing low cost, high quality, easy to use security software for everyone. ArticSoft products are designed for business users, not technologists. The ArticSoft team, led by Steve Mathews (CEO), has over 30 years experience in the field of computer security, and 15 years experience of securing information on personal computers and messaging systems.




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