Computer Crime Research Center


Phishing study continues

Date: December 09, 2005
By: Maryanna Lewycky J

A new U.S. study shows that nearly one in every four computer users are targeted by identity theft scams each month.

The second annual AOL/National Cyber Alliance online safety poll reveals that 23% of those polled receive official-looking e-mails each month from scam artists trying to obtain sensitive personal data.

Seven out of 10 people polled who reported receiving these devious e-mails (known as "phishing" scams) said they initially thought they were from legitimate companies.

Phishing e-mails mimic notices from banks, online service providers or other trusted businesses.

They try to induce recipients to verify account information by providing personal information such as credit card information into a counterfeit website that resembles one of a legitimate business.

Only 1% to 2% of phishing attempts are successful.

"We have a very small percentage of Canadians responding," said OPP Det. Staff Sgt. Barry Elliott of Project Phonebusters, which combats telemarketing and online fraud.
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