Phishing Attacks Up

In November the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) reported that approximately 8.3 million U.S. adults were victims of identity theft in 2005. In 10 percent of these cases, thieves got at least $6,000 in goods and services, and in 5 percent of cases at least $13,000. With the holiday shopping season underway, now a Gartner Survey finds that 3.6 million adults lost money in phishing attacks in the 12 months ending August 2007, up from 2.3 million the previous year. Phishing is a form of online identity theft where emails and Web sites masquerading as official businesses are created and used to deceive Internet users into disclosing their personal data.  According to Gartner,  the average dollar loss per incident declined to $886 from $1,244 in 2006, but because there were more victims, a total of $3.2 billion was lost to these attacks in 2007. The attacks were also more successful than the previous two years. Of the individuals who received phishing emails in 2007, 3.3 percent say they lost money because of the attack, up from 2.3 percent in 2006 and 2.9 percent in 2005. Check out further I.I.I. info on identity theft.

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