UK sees sharp rise in phishing attacks

UK payments association Apacs has warned consumers to be vigilant after the number of reported phishing incidents shot up by 200 percent

Phishing email attacks on the UK have gone up by 200 percent this year, the UK payments association Apacs has warned.

Apacs said consumers must be vigilant after the number of reported incidents shot up by more than 10,000 during the first quarter of 2008.

The sharp rise is evidence that fraudsters are still using fake emails to trick people into revealing personal information that allows access to their bank accounts, Apacs said.

Sandra Quinn, director of communications at Apacs, said in a statement: "Although online banking fraud losses fell last year the fraudsters clearly aren't giving up."

Online banking fraud losses decreased a third from £33.5m in 2006 to £22.6m in 2007 but phishing incidents have climbed from 2,369 during the first quarter of 2006 to 3,394 for the same period in 2007 and to 10,235 in the first quarter of this year.

Although 93 percent of people have antivirus software on their PC, almost one in three people do not have anti-spyware software on their computer.

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