Britons experience 8,000 phishing attacks a month

Phishing in the UK is on the rise, to that extent that the police had to warn people of its size and danger.

According to a new report, released on the City of London website, almost a 100,000 people in the UK were targets of a phishing attack last year.

To be more precise – 96, 699, or an average of 8,000 a month. And we're only talking reported incidents here.

The majority was approached via email (68 per cent), but phone calls (12.5 per cent) and text messages (9 per cent) are also popular methods.

The methods, especially email-related ones, stay pretty much the same. It all goes with an attention-grabbing subect, more often than not warning about a revoked account, unpaid bills or tax returns.

People have reported countless email addresses used for phishing, with these three being among the more popular ones:

‘Do-Not-reply@amazon.co.uk', 'bt.athome@ecomm.bt.com' and 'PQ8MPY@m.apple.com'.

Deputy Head of Action Fraud, Steve Proffitt said: “The new figures show that phishing is a problem which is not going away; it is a means for fraudsters to test the water with potential victims and see how many people they can hook into a scam. For the fraudsters, it is a low risk way of casting out their net and seeing what they can catch. If their emails are convincing enough they can yield high returns and people can easily be persuaded into parting with money or to click on links which then infect their computer with malicious software.

“In order to avoid becoming a victim we urge people to be cautious when opening emails and ask them to follow our protection advice in order to make it as difficult as possible for fraudsters who are simply casting around for their next victim”.

The police says that opening unexpected attachments, responding to emails that ask for your financial details and logging onto a page that arrived via a link in an email is what usually puts people at risk.

It advises everyone to stay safe by not opening unexpected attachments, double-checking if an email was actually sent by the claimed company, and not to open links provided in an email.