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Phishing is a fraudulent act whereby a target or targets are contacted by someone posing as a legitimate institution to lure them into providing sensitive data such as personally identifiable information, banking and credit card details, and passwords. Phishing websites lure email recipients and Web users into believing that a spoofed website is legitimate and genuine.

The information is then used to access important accounts and can result in identity theft and financial loss. Phishing is typically carried out by e-mail spoofing or and it often directs users to enter details at a fake website whose look and feel are almost identical to the legitimate one.