Gartner puts phishing tab at $3.2 billion

More than $3 billion was lost due to phishing attacks in 2007, according to a survey conducted by Gartner. For the 12 months ending in Aug.

More than $3 billion was lost due to phishing attacks in 2007, according to a survey conducted by Gartner.

For the 12 months ending in Aug. 2007, 3.6 million adults lost $3.2 billion due to phishing attacks. About 2.3 million people were hit with phishing attacks in 2006.

A few takeaways from the survey, which surveyed more than 4,500 adults in August.

  • The average dollar loss per incident was $866 in 2007, down from $1,244 in 2006. That sum was diluted by more victims.

  • On the bright side, 1.6 million people recovered about 64 percent of their losses in 2007. That's up from 54 percent in 2006.

  • PayPal and eBay are the most spoofed brands.

  • Phishers are increasingly after debit cards. Among those hit with a phishing attack, 47 percent said they had used a debit card.

  • 11 percent of folks online don't use any security software. Another 45 percent only use what they can get for free.

  • The success rate is improving: 3.3 percent of consumers who got phishing emails in 2007 lost money. In 2006, that rate was 2.3 percent.

My advice: Learn to spell. Because phishers can't.