Phishing is a very sneaky type of fraud conducted over the Internet. Its name is a throw back to the early days of hacking and identity theft and the practice of phone phreaking. While there can be very complicated schemes devised, they are all based on a very simple concept.
Phishers try to persuade you, or trick you into giving them sensitive information which they can then use to make money out of the system. For example, one very attractive target for phishers would be your paypal account. Paypal is an online payment system that allows you to put money in your account with your credit or debit card, and then basically email the money to other peoples paypal accounts. It is very simple, cheap and fast and very popular for online shoppers as they do not have to give their credit card details away over the internet.
If you wanted to take money out of other peoples paypal accounts, all you would really need is their email address and password. Then you sign in to their account, and send the money to an account you have set up.
What phishers will do is email paypal customers with an email that looks like an official email from paypal. It will have the paypal...