Report sees jump in cyber crimes
The number of U.S. adults targeted by e-mail scams more than doubled during the last three years, resulting in losses of more than $3 billion, as cyber criminals used more sophisticated methods to steal money.
An estimated 124 million U.S. adults received so-called phishing e-mail attacks this year, compared with 57 million in 2004, according to a report published by research firm Gartner Inc. The percentage of people who lost money rose to 3.3%, from 2.3% last year, Gartner said.
Online con artists are developing more persuasive ways to solicit funds and steal identities. The ruses rely on Internet advertising and bogus websites, which fool consumers into giving out personal information or downloading malicious software onto their computers.
“The crooks are definitely ahead of the cops,” said Avivah Litan, a Gartner analyst who wrote the report. “The controls being put in place to stop cyber attacks aren’t widespread enough to be effective.”