Phishing for Identity

phishingI’m amazed at just how low internet con men have sunk. This morning’s phishing email informs me that, because identity theft is such a problem, Citibank needs to confirm my account details. They’re actually integrating the public’s awareness of identity theft into the scam!
These email scams are called “phishing” because of their similarity to the process of catching fish (luring the victim in with bait that looks like the real thing). It’s spelled phishing because the scam artists do this while listening to the jamming rock sounds of Phish. At some point along the line, someone decided it would be cool to call the outcome of these scams “identity theft”. This term really doesn’t make any sense. I would have called the crime “credit card theft” or “theft of financial details” or even “theft”. In any case, I’ve never met anyone that had had his identity stolen.
Regardless of terminology, I can see why phishing is such a problem. It’s like dressing up like a cop, asking to enter someone’s apartment, and then stealing the valuables. The only defense is to be extremely cautious about giving out financial details.