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The act of sending an e‐mail to a user falsely claiming to be an established legitimate enterprise in an attempt to scam the user into surrendering private information that will be used for identity theft. The e‐mail directs the user to visit a website where they are asked to update personal information, such as passwords and credit card, social security, and bank account numbers that the legitimate organization already has. The Web site, however, is bogus and set up only to steal the user's information.


A fraudulent practice of sending purporting to be from reputable companies in order to induce individuals to give up personal information such as passwords, credit cards, addresses, account numbers, social security numbers, etc.