The number of phishing attempts grew almost 180 per cent last month, and the attacks are becoming increasingly sophisticated, according to a report from the Anti Phishing Working Group (APWG).
Phishing is an email scam using fake websites to steal or exploit a user's banking or credit card details.
A total of 1,125 phishing attacks were reported to the group in April, a 180 per cent increase over March and representing a growth rate of over 75 per month since December 2003.
According to the APWG, this meant nearly 40 attacks per day in the second week of April, representing 4,000 per cent growth since November last year.
"Consumers must continue to be aware, and we expect the next generation of phishing attacks to target anyone involved in e-commerce," a spokesman for APWG told vnunet.com.
It is estimated that around five per cent of people targeted respond to these scams, providing the perpetrators with user names, log-ins, passwords and even ATM Pin codes.
"As hackers, identity thieves and virus writers continue to join forces, these attacks are increasing and becoming much more sophisticated," said Dave Jevans, chairman of the APWG, and senior vice president at Tumbleweed Communications.
"Many are indistinguishable from legitimate email, even for technically savvy recipients, and this continues to pose a significant threat to the financial services and retail sectors."
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