Consumer studies conducted by First Data indicate that 6.8% of US adults have been victimised by ID theft and 43.4% have direct personal experience of phishing fraud.
The research, conducted in late 2004 by Synovate on behalf of First Data's Star Network, found that more than one-third of consumers surveyed had received a phishing e-mail, while 19% had taken a phishing phone call. On average five per cent of consumers contacted fell for the scam and divulged personal details. Of those, 45% reported that the information was used to make an unauthorised transaction, open an account, or commit another type of identity theft.
Nearly one-third of consumers said that the phisher had posed as a financial institution, while one in 10 reported that the phisher had impersonated a credit card company.
Debra Janssen, president, First Data Debit Services, describes the survey results as worrying. "Close to 5 percent of phishing attempts are successful, despite significant efforts by the financial community to raise awareness and educate consumers about phishing. It's clear that more remains to be done."
The First Data Star network is currently teaming with Regions Financial Corporation in the south mid-west and Texas to distribute a series of radio and television public service announcements alerting consumers to the dangers of phishing crimes.