One in five Britons falls victim to phishing

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Every fifth Briton has been a victim of a phishing attack, new reports from email provider GMX have shown. The company also issued a warning, saying the holiday season is usually when phishing attacks are on the rise, so consumers should be extra careful.

The increase in phishing attacks at the end of the year is due to the fact that the numbers of legitimate ecommerce and parcel service emails also goes up.

And consequently, cybercriminals adapt to the time of year. They can counterfeit parcel suppliers emails to link to malware instead of tracking links. Paired with the fact that many consumers in the UK expect to get a parcel tracking email, it is easy to see why holidays are a great time of year for criminals.

“During the festive period not only does the number of phishing scams increase, but also the quality. Cybercriminals are highly professional and manage to copy invoices or newsletters so well that they can hardly be differentiated from the original. Therefore, users should keep an eye on their mailbox with increased attention”, says Jan Oetjen, CEO of GMX.

Half of consumers in the UK delete phishing emails on sight. Experts have stressed that it’s important to mark them as spam before deleting, as that will help future spam filters. A quarter does it, while two per cent open the email out of sheer curiosity.

Image source: Shutterstock/wk1003mike