Phishing Scams - Hard to Spot

This article on MSN Money, Phishing: Consumers take the bait, caught my attention:

Phishing — typically emails that fool the victim into believing they're answering a request for information from a company they do business with — is one of the most common and longest running types of internet scams. Yet losses increased by more than 20% in 2012, according to the security firm RSA...

Some phishing scams have gotten more elaborate over time, in some cases utilizing bits of information already collected about the targets — appearing to be contacts from, say, the victim's actual bank and using the proper logos — making the requests appear authentic.

"Phishing scams are all too prevalent, and fraudsters are getting increasingly sophisticated at impersonating trusted organizations," said Jennifer Fischer, head of Americas payment system security for Visa. "It’s important for consumers to be aware of this popular tactic and be alert whenever they receive a request for their personal or payment information."

At home I'm constantly coaching my family to be aware phishing messages, and I tell them what to look for - queries for personal information, domain names that are slightly different than a company they're familiar with (, rather than, for instance), and so on. It's tough though. I've clicked innocuous looking links and gotten my computer infected with malware a couple times. And I'm in the business!

There isn't a magic bullet for safe emailing. You have to remain vigilant.