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Phun for Everyone

I have found myself the victim of one phishing scam in my days as an internet user. Last summer in Paris, shortly after making my first ATM withdrawal in Europe, I checked my email at the hostel I was staying at. (I should mention that at this point I had been up for over 25 hours and the last sleep I had gotten was on an airplane.) Much to my frustration I had an email from Wells Fargo stating that my account was locked for security reasons. Now I had spoken with my banker before leaving and told them I was going over seas. She put a note on my account but warned me that initial use would probably trigger a red flag. Remembering this I let out some verbal complaints about Wells Fargo but wanting to avoid problems I followed the instructions in the email. So much for avoiding problems. I felt uneasy about the whole thing but was too tired to worry about it. Twenty minutes later I awoke from my nap with sudden clarity that I had just done something very very stupid. The whole thing came back to me, flashing before my eyes like some terrible realization in an action flick (yeah that's a little dramatic but like I said, I was short on sleep and 5,000 miles from home, there was a short moment of panic). I luckily caught this in time, I canceled the card that had been compromised and got a new username and password for the online banking site before anything bad happened. The whole ordeal was nonetheless annoying and embarrassing. I had to go the next two an a half weeks on another continent without an ATM card and I had had to admit that I fell victim to one of the very scams I have been warning friends and family about for quite some time.

I don't think there is any question as to whether or not phishing is a crime. It is a very clear, malicious act to deceive a person into divulging sensitive information for the purpose of stealing their identity. This is a stark contrast to the idea of Wikipedia tweaking or vandalism. I have referred to the internet as a jury trial in the past and I think this applies here just as well. Wikipedia is meant to be a place where content is moderated by the users. If you decide to violate the rules then it is up to your peers to judge the fate of the information you provide (or remove). Seeing as how the entire idea of Wikipedia is that it is a user-created, user-moderated system, I don't see "tweaking" it as a violation of any actual laws.

Comments

It's good to hear that all was well and that you didn't loose anything when you became a victim of a crime.

I agree with you that phishing for peoples personal information is a crime and that wikipedia tweaking is something completely different. One is a crime, and the other just seems to bother a few people