Skip navigation.
What if your email address could demand respect?

Glossary of Scam Terms

Glossary of Scam Terms

Back-door Trojan -- a program that opens up a user's computer (see Port Sniffing) to remote access across the Web without the user knowing.

Bot -- short for robot. A computer program that performs automated tasks. Can be used maliciously to scan your PC for passwords, search your browsing history, capture your keystrokes, send spam on your behalf and then report all the information gathered from you PC to an undisclosed third party anywhere via your Internet connection.

Botnet -- a network of compromised robot computers controlled remotely by a third party.

Malware -- a general term for malicious software. Examples include viruses, Trojan horses, spyware and worms.

IM -- instant messenger

Image spam -- a spam e-mail whose content contains text embedded inside a picture.

Smishing -- phishing using SMS messages on cell phones. The message tries to lure smart phone users to a Web site, where they download malware to their phone without knowing it.

Spim -- spam over instant messaging.

Spit -- spam over Internet telephony, or VoIP spam.

Trojan (horse) --a malicious program made to look legitimate or harmless to unsuspecting computer users so that they will run the program.

Virus -- a malicious program capable of copying itself and attaching to other programs. To function, someone must run the program to which the virus is attached.

Vishing -- short for voice phishing. In this scam, consumers receive an e-mail or phone call directing them to call a phone number with regard to a problem on a bank or credit card account. When victims call, they hear an automated message asking them to verify account information and other sensitive data. Keystrokes get recorded as victims enter in their account details. By using Voice over Internet Protocol phones, scammers can choose the area code and prefix of the telephone numbers used so that they closely resemble the real company's phone numbers.

Web 2.0 -- a term used to describe Web sites that allow users to generate content. Examples include blogs, Wikipedia, MySpace, YouTube, Facebook and LinkedIn.

Worms -- a virus that copies itself