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Windows® 8.1 IN DEPTH by Paul McFedries, Brian Knittel

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34. Protecting Yourself from Fraud and Spam

Phishing for Information

Some years ago, before the Internet was commonly available to home users, America Online (AOL) was an innovative service accessed by dial-up modems. It was appealing, but not cheap. Some people figured out that obtaining free access was as simple as using a program to generate a fake credit card number and using that to open an AOL account. It took AOL a few weeks to figure out that the credit card number was no good, after which another fake number got the ball rolling again.

AOL eventually put a stop to this, so, naturally, even more reprehensible practices ensued. A program called AOHell emerged. It could send a barrage of instant messages to subscribers, posing as an AOL ...

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