Phishing scams account for half of all fraud attacks

Network security company RSA has released its Q3 Fraud Report revealing that phishing scams accounted for 50 per cent of all fraud attacks.

During the third quarter of 2018, the firm detected 38,196 fraud attacks worldwide which represents a 70 per cent increase from Q2.

Despite growing awareness of the risks of phishing, many individuals and businesses still fall for cybercriminals attempts to gain information fraudulently. Phishing attacks often increase ahead of the holidays as fraudsters try to acquire new credentials to commit fraud during Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

RSA recovered almost 5.5m compromised cards and card previews that would have made it easier for cybercriminals to commit fraud undetected during the high holiday shopping traffic.

According to the firm, Canada, the US and the Netherlands were the top three countries targeted by phishing and represent 69 per cent of the total attack volume. Canada was the primary target of the majority of the attacks at 52 per cent. However, Europe had the most costly fraud transactions with the average fraudulent transaction costing victims $420.

Rise of vishing

RSA's report also sheds light on a new type of scam called vishing or voice phishing where fraudsters trick victims into revealing their financial and other details over the phone.

This new attack method may only account for one per cent of the total phishing attacks but it remains a significant threat due to 'SEO poisoning' where attackers create sites filled with fake contact information that use search engine optimisation tactics to rise to the top of search results.

By employing this technique, fraudsters can actually get their victims to call them as opposed to the other way around which saves them time and resources.

RSA also highlighted the fact that fraud from mobile browsers and apps is on the rise and represents 73 per cent of the total fraud transactions that occurred during Q3 2018.

Via Verdict

Anthony Spadafora

After working with the TechRadar Pro team for the last several years, Anthony is now the security and networking editor at Tom’s Guide where he covers everything from data breaches and ransomware gangs to the best way to cover your whole home or business with Wi-Fi. When not writing, you can find him tinkering with PCs and game consoles, managing cables and upgrading his smart home.