'Spoof' e-mail scam spreads

Wednesday, 9 July 2003, 2:43 PM EST

That e-mail may look like it's from a well-known company. But as more people have discovered in recent months, it could be an attempt to defraud you.

SurfControl, a leading Web and e-mail filtering company, issued a warning Tuesday against "brand-spoofing spam," which masquerades as e-mail from a major corporation in order to pry financial and identity information from recipients.

According to SurfControl, major companies that have been "brand-spoofed" include UPS, PayPal, Best Buy, Bank of America and First Union Bank.

"With only a very slim chance of getting caught, this sort of spam scam is growing and showing how spam is becoming the organized crime of the Internet," said Susan Getgood, a senior vice president at SurfControl. "Companies must be just as organized to defeat it."

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