Nearly 100,000 people in the UK have reported receiving phishing scam emails in 2015, according to the City of London Police's Action Fraud and National Fraud Intelligence Bureau.
The police said the exact number of reported cases between January 2015 and December 2015 was 96,699 - with an average of 8,000 reports per month.
Phishing attempts to acquire sensitive information or access to systems by sending people misleading emails or text messages with malicious links or payloads are becoming a favourite tactic of cyber crooks, with some even posing as the CEO of big firms.
The majority of people (68 percent) who reported a phishing scam said it came in the form of an email, while 12.5 percent said they were contacted by phone, 8.9 percent said they were contacted by text, and the rest were contacted in another way.
According to the Action Fraud team, the most common phishing scam in December came from fraudsters purporting to be a bank or from HMRC - with the Self-Assessment tax deadline at the end of January - followed by online payment merchants such as PayPal and utility companies.
In one month, the police said that 31 percent of all phishing scams reported had contained a potentially malicious hyperlink which would install malware onto the victim's PC or phone or trick them into providing sensitive information.
The police found that the most common message title for phishing emails was ‘Attention' followed by other titles such as ‘Your account has been revoked', ‘Hello' and ‘Important Notification', while the top email addresses that people reported to have received came from ‘[email protected], [email protected] and [email protected]
Want to find out more about phishing and 'whaling' (the same process, only with higher profile enterprise targets)? Then tune in to our web seminar at 2pm on 16th March 2016 - register free!
We will be discussing the 'dark tricks' of the phishing trade so that you can more easily recognise them, and protect your organisation, and we'll be discussing whether impending changes in data protection legislation may affect the ways you can establish your organisation's security policies to continue staying safe.
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