Feeds

Americans lost $2.4bn to net fraudsters in 2003

Phishing fastest growing online crime

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The next step in data security

US consumers lost $2.4bn last year to online scammers and phishing attacks.

Most fraud was carried out by people gaining access to account numbers and passwords. The average loss for the victims was $1,200. Gartner surveyed 5,000 US Internet users which led to the estimate that just under 2m US citizens were hit by some form of online fraud last year.

Avivah Litan, research director at Gartner, said: "In most cases that are not inside jobs, thieves likely stole account numbers and passwords to get into accounts online or through telephone banking services,"

Phishing and key logging are the most popular methods to obtain information. Phishing attacks send consumers emails which look like they come from trusted financial institutions. They are directed to a website, apparently part of the bank or auction site, and trick people into entering passwords and user names. The identities collected are then defrauded. Fraudsters also use key-logging software to capture passwords entered on a computer.

According to Gartner, banks must strengthen security on their websites and phone banking systems. "Shared secrets" are the best way to solve this problem until proper systems are in place, it says. Shared secrets are responses to questions like "Name of your favourite pet".

Gartner looked at five types of fraud: new account fraud, cheque forgery, unauthorised access to checking accounts, illegal credit card transaction and fraudulent cash advances on credit cards. Unauthorised access to accounts grew fastest in the past year, almost half of reported incidents took place in the past year, compared with 34 per cent of illegal credit card purchases.

Checking account hijackings were second only to dodgy credit card purchases, using a stolen credit card to buy goods.

The press release is here. ®

Related stories

Lottery scams new flavour of the month
Fear of phishing hits e-commerce
Phishing scams cost UK banks £1m+

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
JINGS! Microsoft Bing called Scots indyref RIGHT!
Redmond sporran metrics get one in the ten ring
Driving with an Apple Watch could land you with a £100 FINE
Bad news for tech-addicted fanbois behind the wheel
Murdoch to Europe: Inflict MORE PAIN on Google, please
'Platform for piracy' must be punished, or it'll kill us in FIVE YEARS
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Found inside ISIS terror chap's laptop: CELINE DION tunes
REPORT: Stash of terrorist material found in Syria Dell box
Sony says year's losses will be FOUR TIMES DEEPER than thought
Losses of more than $2 BILLION loom over troubled Japanese corp
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.