NEW YORK -- Google, Facebook and other big tech companies are jointly designing a system for combating email scams known as phishing.
Such scams try to trick people into giving away passwords and other personal information by sending emails that look as if they come from a legitimate bank, retailer or other business. When Bank of America customers see emails that appear to come from the bank, they might click on a link that takes them to a fake site mimicking the real Bank of America's. There, they might enter personal details, which scam artists can capture and use for fraud.
On Monday, the S.C. Department of Consumer Affairs warned consumers to be wary of fraudulent emails that appear to be from American Airlines.
To combat such ruses, 15 major technology and financial companies have formed an organization to design a system for authenticating emails from legitimate senders and weeding out fakes. The new system is called DMARC -- short for Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting and Conformance.
DMARC builds upon existing techniques used to combat spam. Those techniques are designed to verify that an email actually came from the sender in question. The problem is there are multiple approaches for doing that and no standard way of dealing with emails believed to be fake.
The new system addresses that by asking email senders and the companies that provide email services to share information about the email messages they send and receive.
Beginning Monday, other companies can sign up.
The group's founders are Microsoft Corp., Yahoo Inc., AOL Inc. and Google Inc.; Bank of America Corp., Fidelity Investments and eBay Inc.'s PayPal; Facebook, LinkedIn Corp. and American Greetings Corp. and security companies Agari, Cloudmark, eCert, Return Path and the Trusted Domain Project.
The Post and Courier contributed to this report.