One in two online US bank customers claim to have received at least one phishing e-mail, raising fears for the security and future viability of the Internet channel, according to anti-fraud firm Cyota.
The figures, which follow a survey of 655 adults in November 2004, represents 100% growth in the number of account holders to be troubled by the Web spoofing scam in just six months. Fewer than one-in-four Web users reported contact with Web spoofers in Cyota's previous online fraud survey conducted in April 2004.
Almost five per cent of the sample said they had inadvertently responded to the phishing e-mails, which use bogus bank Web sites to trick recipients into divulging online banking passwords.
According to Cyota's survey, 44% of account holders utilise the same password for all of their online banking services, while a further 37% share their passwords with other less secure sites.
Cyota's survey indicates that user fears about security could come to affect the viability of the online channel, with 70% saying they are now less likely to respond to an e-mail from their bank, and more than half stating that they are less inclined to continue to use online services.