8,000 Phishing Scams in UK Hit Per Month – There were nearly 100,000 incidents of phishing attacks reported in the UK last year as cyber criminals increasingly turned to online scams to trick users into divulging sensitive information.
Phishing – a cyberfraud technique which gains sensitive information by masquerading as a trustworthy communication – is ensnaring an average of 8,000 reported victims per month
The figures, collated by the City of London police’s Action Fraud and the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau, put the exact figure at 96,699 – which amounts to around 8,000 reports each month.
8,000 Phishing Scams in UK Hit Per Month:
Phishing involves the attempt to acquire sensitive information – for example usernames, passwords and credit card details – or steal money, by masquerading as a trusted source in an official-seeming electronic communication such as email, pop-up message, phone call or text message.
According to a recent report, it takes cyber criminals an average of just 82 seconds to ensnare a victim with 23 per cent of people likely to open a phishing email.
Scams are frequently seasonal, with bank and HMRC-related phishing particularly popular in December, according to the police.
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Deputy Head of Action Fraud, Steve Proffitt argued that the phishing problem is not going away anytime soon.
“It is a means for fraudsters to test the water with potential victims and see how many people they can hook into a scam. For the fraudsters, it is a low risk way of casting out their net and seeing what they can catch,” he added.
“If their emails are convincing enough they can yield high returns and people can easily be persuaded into parting with money or to click on links which then infect their computer with malicious software.”
Users were urged to remain vigilant online, especially when opening attachments or clicking on links in unsolicited emails or responding to emails asking for personal or financial details.
Rather than follow links to web pages, users should type in the web address of the site they want to visit directly, Action Fraud advised.