Awareness of Phishing is on the Up – But so are Monetary Losses

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It seems like phishers are changing their tactics to those similar to spammers, rather than going for big targets and mass mails they are turning to more wealthy customers and fewer but larger bounties.

Imagine if they can nail a few big ones, they are set.

Online fraudsters are turning their attentions away from large banks and increasingly targeting wealthy consumers as phishing schemes continue to lure large numbers of people into unknowingly sharing their private information with criminals, reports Gartner.

Americans are losing fewer dollars to online phishing schemes as a whole, but Internet-savvy, affluent PC users are being hit up for more money than ever, according to the latest Gartner research.

Based on a survey of 5,000 consumers in the United States, Gartner said users are being assaulted with more phishing attacks than ever before and are falling for more of the gimmicks. Yet at the same time, customers are losing less money to the schemes, due to a growing awareness of the online fraud model, as banks and other businesses spoofed in the attacks have put more tools in place to help identify suspicious behavior.

So phishing is on the up…and so are monetary losses, people are generally losing less but more people are losing and wealthier people are being targeted so the average has gone up.

There really is an amazing amount of phishing going on

artner estimates that 109 million U.S. adults received phishing e-mails during the last 12 months, compared to only 57 million in 2004. An estimated 24.4 million Americans went on to click on phishing e-mails in 2006, up from approximately 11.9 million in 2005. The company said 3.5 million adults gave sensitive information to fraudsters in 2006, compared to only 1.9 million adults last year.

Based on the survey, the average loss per victim has grown from $257 to $1,244 per victim in 2006. Finding a refund for money lost to the schemes has also become harder: Consumers recovered approximately 80 percent of their cash in 2005, but are getting back an average of only 54 percent in 2006.

The moral of the story is…don’t fall for it, because it is your fault and it’ll be hard to get your money back.

Awareness generally is higher, but people are still getting conned left right and center.

As with any technology, it enables bad just as well as good.

Source: Eweek

Posted in: Legal Issues, Phishing

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