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Hackers went phishing for Brits in 2015

A recent City of London Police research showed that the number of individuals targeted by phishing scams jumped to 21 per cent in 2015, with the attacks mostly delivered via email.

Just between November 2014 and October 2015, the reported scams grew to nearly 96,000,according to the force's National Fraud Intelligence Bureau as part of Get Safe Online's Think Twice Before You Act campaign.

With 80 per cent of the attacks carried out via email, phishing through a BT account update, through a fake iTunes invoice, and fraudulent HMRC tax refunds have resurfaced as the most common kind. A few also included emails about suspended or blocked bank accounts and credit cards with false attachments.

The research reported that nearly 20 per cent of the phishing emails asked for a reply and 15 per cent asked for personal information. All in all, a third of the emails contained a potentially malicious link.

Apart from emails, scams via phone calls came second with 12 per cent, followed by text messages and mobile phone calls with 10 per cent.

“Cyber criminals are becoming increasingly savvy and [it is] important consumers understand this threat is very much a reality,” Raj Samani, CTO for Intel Security said. "Brits must ... be wary of unexpected emails, even if they are cited as being from a brand they are familiar with."

"Think twice before acting, calling up your bank directly if you're concerned about anything before taking action. We have to make sure we stay one step ahead of the cyber criminals and caution is the best way forward here."

Image Credit: wk1003mike / Shutterstock