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Just like Phishing, Pharming is an on-line scam. The difference is that Pharming scams actually redirect your Internet browser to a phony website that looks just like a genuine site of a bank or other on-line business. Unlike Phishing, that requires that you follow a fake e-mail link, Pharming can happen when you type in a legitimate website address. The site you're taken to will look like the genuine website you're looking for, but it's not. Once you're at the phony website any information you enter, including passwords and account numbers, is captured by the criminals.

Click here to listenIt easy to see how scary and dangerous a Pharming scam can be. Here are a few tips to avoid becoming a victim:

When you enter your credit card numbers or any sensitive personal information on-line make sure you're on a secure website. Look for the little "lock" security icon at the top or bottom of your browser. Also look for the "https://" in the web address, not just "http://."

Keep a regular check on your account, including your bank, credit and debit statements to make sure that all the transactions are legitimate. If there's something there that look suspicious contact your bank/credit card issuer immediately!

Make sure that your computer's security is up-to-date. If you're not using anit-virus and firewall programs, you may want to consider doing so, especially if you do a lot of banking and shopping on-line. If you do have these programs, be sure you're getting the latest updates.

If you become a victim, report the information to the Federal Trade Commission at this link:

FTC Consumer Complaint Form