Phishers to Steal $2.6 Billion from People in 2006

CIO.com is reporting the online ‘phishing’ fraud scams will likely manage to steal as much as $2.6 billion dollars from people in 2006.

From the post —

Browser makers may have added new antiphishing features to their products in recent months, but the criminals are still gaining ground in their efforts to defraud U.S. consumers, according to the Gartner research firm.

Phishers have hit more victims with their online attacks, and while fewer people are losing money to phishers, successful attempts have been yielding bigger payoffs, said Avivah Litan, vice president and distinguished analyst at Gartner. “When they do succeed, they’re stealing five times more than they stole last year.”

The average loss per phishing attack was US$1,244 this year, Litan said, up from $256. Gartner estimates that the total financial losses attributable to phishing will total $2.8 billion this year.

And users who are taken in by phishing scams are less likely to recover their money, Litan said. In 2005, 80 percent of victims got their money back. This year, that number dropped to 54 percent.

Gartner estimates that 3.5 million Americans will give up sensitive information to phishers in 2006—up from an estimated 1.9 million last year.

Source: Phishers to Bilk Consumers Out of $2.8B in ’06