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Phishing Scams to Rise by Nearly 40% This Year

Gartner will report from its current annual study that the number of people falling victim to fake online offerings is approaching an increase of 40% in 2007 over 2006.

Research Director and Vice President, Avivah Litan, of Gartner said that the study report would indicate that in the US, 3.2% adults who reported getting phishing e-mails in their inbox in 2007 were robbed of their money due to these scams. This would compare to 2.3% of adult victims in 2006. SCMagazine reported this on December 7, 2007.

According to estimates by industry analysts, consumers' overall cost as a result of online fraud is going to be $3 Billion in 2007, a high from $2 Billion reported in 2006. In 2007, around three million consumers would be the total adults victimized. This rising trend in losses from Internet fraud is likely to go on as phishing operations become more sophisticated.

The report from Gartner would follow close to the warnings from the industry's experienced security experts that scams related to online shopping are expected to evolve into a significant threat at the time of winter holidays. IBM Internet Security Systems' Chief Technology Officer, Christopher Rouland, told The Associated Press in the first week of December 2007 that consumers purchasing goods online should be careful with one-use coupons offering high discounts and arriving via e-mails, for they might redirect them to counterfeit sites that are crafted to capture credit card information. SCMagazine reported this on December 7, 2007.

Talking about phishing schemes, Rouland said that fraudsters deploy high quality malware in such schemes. A report from IBM said that the 'phish trap' e-mail Ids it controls, and which count to above one million, found nearly 867,000 scams in Q3 2007 alone.

Litan pointed out that scammers operating the phishing schemes have been honing their techniques of social engineering using fake online advertising and enticing coupons to take unsuspecting consumers into their malicious traps.

Litan observed that popular online payment services like PayPal have taken steps to use digital signatures in e-mail protocols with the objective to defend their users against ever increasing phishing scams.

Related article: Phishing With A Redirector Code

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