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Phishing is the term for an e-mail scam that spoofs legitimate companies in an attempt to defraud people of personal information such as logins, passwords, credit card numbers, bank account information and social security numbers. For example, an e-mail may appear to come from PayPal claiming that the recipient's account information must be verified because it may have been compromised by a third party. However, when the recipient provides the account information for verification, the information is really sent to a phisher, who is then able to access the person's account. The term phishing was coined because the phishers are "fishing" for personal information.
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