Phishing Scams More Costly Than Bank Robbery

During a bank robbery, the bank’s main concern is the safety of the employees, not the bank’s bottom line, according to MSNBC:

The amount of money taken typically is fairly small and will not dent a bank’s bottom line. Further, bank robbers are apprehended in almost 58 percent of cases, according to Federal Bureau of Investigation statistics. Only murder has a higher rate of clearance by arrest.

So what do banks worry about? Phishing scams.

That’s a stark contrast to checking account fraud, which cost financial institutions $2.4 billion over one 12-month period that ended in 2004, according to a study by research firm Gartner Group. A portion of those losses was caused by “phishing,” a scam in which crooks use fraudulent e-mails and Web sites in an effort to entice consumers to give up personal and account information. Since 2004, phishing attacks have grown exponentially.

Not only are the losses greater, it’s also harder to catch a cyber thief; investigators often find themselves chasing a ghost who may have put up a fake Web site for just a couple of days.

Phishing scams are easy to avoid. Help your bank by not falling for them. Be suspicious of emails, even if they are “authentic” looking, that are supposedly from your bank asking you to enter your account info. Always type your bank’s url into your browser’s address bar. Never follow a link from an email! —MEGHANN MARCO

The big catch: Phishing scams more costly than bank robberies [MSNBC]
(Photo: cmorran123)

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