EarthLink is offering its users a new application designed to addressing the growing “phishing” scam plague on Internet users.

Truste, a nonprofit privacy group, said this week that phishing schemes, through which people are tricked into divulging personal financial information, have cost consumers $500 million.

EarthLink’s application is called ScamBlocker and is a free, browser-based toolbar.

“As professional criminals threaten to rob personal information by mimicking online retailers and corporate Web sites, EarthLink’s ScamBlocker enables consumers to evaluate the safety level of every site they visit – helping to protect them from online fraud,” said Matt Cobb, EarthLink’s vice president of core applications, in a statement.

For information and to download the browser-
based application, see: www.earthlink.net/earthlinktoolbar