As further proof that identity thieves will take advantage of any opportunity for identity theft – including the H1N1 Virus – the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is reporting on its Health Related Hoaxes and Rumors page that it has received reports of fraudulent H1N1 Virus emails referencing a supposed “CDC sponsored State Vaccination Program” that are actually attempts to gain personal information to commit identity theft.
The CDC reports that the fake email messages attempting to gain information for identity theft – a process known as “phishing” – asks users to create a “personal H1N1 (swine flu) Vaccination Profile on the cdc.gov website” and that “every person that has reached the age of 18 has to have his/her personal Vaccination Profile on the cdc.gov site.”
However, the CDC has NOT implemented a so-called state vaccination program for the H1N1 Virus requiring registration on www.cdc.gov, and warns that users clicking on the “Create Personal Profile” link in the email risk having malicious code installed on their system that could steal personal information and lead to identity theft.
The CDC also reminds users to take the following steps to reduce the risk of being a victim of the H1N1 Virus phishing attack that could lead to identity theft:
Do not follow unsolicited links and do not open or respond to unsolicited email messages.
Use caution when visiting un-trusted websites.
Use caution when entering personal information online.
An example of the H1N1 Virus phishing email can be seen at www.cdc.gov/hoaxes_rumors.html.
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