Here Phishy Phishy Phishy...

Phishing, we all hate it.  Not the kind with Uncle Earl out on his 14 foot “yacht” and 8 sick-packs that were never going to see the shore again, but the kind of misleading e-mails and/or web sites that result in innocent users (such as Uncle Earl) giving out personal data to people who would intend to misuse it.

Despite anti-phishing technology being integrated in modern browsers, it seems that it's still on the rise:

“The September 2007 MessageLabs Intelligence report states that one in every 87.2 e-mails is a phishing attack. The figure represents a slight increase over what was previously the highest level ever recorded by U.K.-based MessageLabs—one in every 93.3 emails—back in January.”

Just a rule of thumb to help keep you safe: if you get an e-mail or asked to visit a site that seems even at all suspicous to you, then keep in mind that any legitimate lottery, government official, bank, etc. will always have an easy method to contact them via telephone.  Don't use your phone to call them if they do, because anyone who is a P.I. or debt collector will tell you that even a phone number linked with a name is often enough data to get more information on you than you'd want someone to have.

If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.  Chances are you didn't win a lottery in a country you've never visited, and e-mails wrought with spelling and grammatical mistakes from a deposed noble you haven't heard of are about as real as a $3 bill.
Tags:  HIS, here