Will The Internet Get Phished Out?

Jun 04, 2004
George Anderson

By George Anderson

Phishing is not a new term to describe the act of leaving all responsibilities behind to follow the current generation’s version of the Grateful Dead (Phish) around the country
on its farewell tour.

It is, however, the term used to describe an Internet fraud scheme that cost consumers $1.2 billion last year.

Phishing is when unscrupulous characters send phony e-mails to consumers that appear to be from a legitimate source, such as a bank or online retailer, on a matter of some urgency.
The emails contain links to phony Web sites that dupe consumers into providing personal information such as screen names and passwords.

Bill McCumber, chief financial officer of online security firm Privacy Inc. told the Star Tribune, “People are a little too fearless when it comes to giving up passwords
and account information online. People are used to filling out Web forms because shopping online has become common. And that’s what phishers go after.”

The number of consumers that have fallen victim to phishing expeditions may be beginning to put a little more fear back into consumers.

The Internet security firm, Cyota, recently surveyed 650 online banking customers and found nearly three out of four were less likely to shop online because of phishing scams.

Amir Orad, Cyota’s marketing vice president told USA Today, “The biggest loss isn’t monetary, it’s consumers losing trust in the Internet.”

Moderator’s Comment: How serious a problem is phishing? Do you think it is capable of slowing the progress of online

One thing we know for sure is that phishing isn’t going to stop. It’s estimated that only one out of every 700 people involved in identity theft ever get
caught. Those are pretty good odds for someone banking on making thousands, if not more, stealing from others.

George Anderson – Moderator

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