UK phishing attacks up 200% in Q1 - Apacs

UK phishing attacks up 200% in Q1 - Apacs

UK payments association Apacs is urging Web banking customers to be extra vigilant following a 200% jump in the number of phishing attacks in the first quarter of 2008.

Apacs says although online banking fraud fell by a third in 2007 to £22.6 million, fraudsters are still having some success with phishing scams.

According to Apacs' research there were 10,235 phishing incidents targeted at UK banks and building societies in the first quarter of this year, compared to 3394 in the same period the previous year.

Apacs says each phishing attack involves thousands, or even millions, of e-mails being sent out.

The payments association says its research shows that 82% of people delete or ignore phishing e-mails - up from 75% in 2006 - but some customers are still vulnerable. Furthermore, although 93% of people have anti-virus software on their PC, almost one in three people (29%) don't have anti-spyware technology installed.

Sandra Quinn, director of communications, Apacs, says: "Although online banking fraud losses fell last year the fraudsters clearly aren't giving up. Phishing scams are continuing to rise and they are becoming ever more sophisticated, which is why we want to remind people to remain wise to them."

Last week security experts Sophos warned of a phishing scam which masquerades as a message from MasterCard and encouraged users to sign up for the card network's SecureCode protection programme by offering a 16% discount on future purchases made with the card.

Users that click on the link in the spam mail are re-directed to a spoofed phishing site and told to supply confidential data including credit card expiration date, date of birth and the three digit security code located on the back of their plastic card.

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