Thursday, May 12, 2005

Phishing Statistics

"Phishing" (a form of on line fraud where identities are stolen) seems to be in the news a lot lately. Quoting a survey done by "Integrated Payment Systems", 43 percent of us have been the target of a "phishing" scam and 5 percent of us have given up information. This normally happens when a fraud e-mail is received that appears to be from your financial institution. The fraud e-mail directs you to a fraudulent site. Once you are on the site, they start asking for your personal information.

Also mentioned is "Pharming", where people are misdirected to fraudulent sites on line that are developed to look legitimate. This normally happens by fraudsters changing a web site address, ever so slightly.

No legitimate institution will ever ask you to verify personal information via an e-mail, however they do seem to ask a lot of personal information when you call them.

Estimates put this type of "internet fraud" costing consumers about 1.2 billion a year in 2003, but it also should be noted that many institutions don't seem to want to comment on exact figures.

Here is a site with relevant information to protect yourself:

Anti-Phishing Working Group:

Meanwhile, it has been reported that Mastercard has shut down 1400 phishing sites in the past eleven months. As a result of this, law enforcement was able to make 27 arrests. This is good news, but the "APWG" states that in March of this year, there were 2870 active "phishing" sites.

In the end, a lot of this "on line" fraud comes from nations that don't enforce this type of crime. The best way to protect ourselves from this activity is communicaton and education.

Education goes a long way to resolving most issues!

1 comment:

~Free Darren Koehn~ said...

Very helpful and critical information...

Thank you for the Great Work!!