Phishing scams have plagued consumers for a number of years, morphing to adapt to changing trends and technologies.
Once perpetrated by mail and phone, this tactic is now also common by email and text message.
Phishing is when fraudsters pretending to be from well-known companies, organizations, or government agencies contact consumers and try to trick them into revealing their Social Security numbers, financial account information, passwords, or other personal information. That information is then used to make unauthorized purchases, take over victims’ accounts, open new accounts, or even to apply for jobs or get tax refunds and other government benefits.
Even though phishing scams are not new, they continue to pose a serious problem. According to RSA’s recent Fraud Report, the total number of phishing attacks launched in 2012 was 59% higher than in 2011. Further, the report estimates that global losses from phishing last year were around $1.5 billion.
With fraudsters becoming ever more sophisticated at impersonating trusted organizations, it’s important for consumers to stay a step ahead and recognize these scams and better protect their personal information. That is why we are working together with the Consumer Federation of America to develop consumer education materials to help address this trend.
Watch the new video or access the tip sheet to get more information on how to avoid this type of scam.
Posted by: Jennifer Fischer, Head of Americas Payment System Security on May 15, 2013 at 9:58 am