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SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – Those phishing e-mails are not only getting more prevalent, they’re getting much harder to recognize, even for financial industry insiders. Don’t think so? Check out this phishing quiz from Mail Frontiers at http://survey.mailfrontier.com/survey/quiztest.html to see exactly what Cornerstone Advisors’ Consultant Tripp Johnson meant when he says, “I imagine some of you are thinking you could spot a fake e-mail from a mile away. OK, if you want to see just how smart you are, check out this phishing quiz. It sure humbled me.” Phishing attacks, the majority of which are aimed at financial institutions, are growing astronomically. MessageLabs, for instance, reported 279 in September 2003 and 250,000 of them only eight months later. “Although these scams are targeted at consumers, it is our brands they are using,” says Johnson, a banking industry technology veteran. “That makes it incumbent upon us to frequently inform our members and customers of the legitimate ways we will try to contact them – so they can disregard all other approaches.” He recommends these guidelines to consider before marketing or otherwise communicating with members via e-mail: All e-mail marketing campaigns should include your call center number. Your Internet site should reflect the information contained in the e-mail marketing campaign. Members should never be asked to submit personal or account information via an e-mail. One-to-one or targeted e-mails should only be used with secure messaging that can only be accessed after members log in to their online accounts. Always include a link to or the contents of your privacy policy within the e-mail.

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