Phishing Scams Hurt The Brands They Target

Ars Technica reports that “42 percent of adults in the UK feel that their trust in a brand would be greatly reduced by receiving a phishing e-mail claiming to be from that brand, according to an online survey conducted by research firm YouGov.”

While this is certainly unfair, we can’t help but feel that it’s probably true. The endless stream of phishing emails claiming to be from Bank of America make us feel irritated with Bank of America even though we don’t have an account there and know perfectly well that they aren’t sending us phishing emails. Irrational? Certainly.

Anyway, here’s the (obligatory) part of the post where we remind you not to click links in emails. Type them in yourself.

Study: It might not be fair, but customers lose faith in phished brands
[Ars Technica]


Edit Your Comment

  1. mopar_man says:

    How are eBay and PayPal still in business then I wonder? I get at least one from each of those in a week.

  2. Buran says:

    I’m a Bank of America customer (haven’t had any problems, but I’m careful with my finances) and I actually don’t get many fake BofA emails. Now, Citibank, I’m lookin’ at you…

  3. RvLeshrac says:

    That’s like blaming Microsoft for the “Bill Gates will send you X if you forward this email” hoaxes.

    Just another example of why we need to teach critical thinking in schools – that, of course, won’t really happen, since it would lead to kids questioning government and religion.

  4. XTC46 says:

    A similar example is retail outlets getting bad reps for selling shit products made by other companies. Like “Best Buy sucks becasue my HP computer broke after a week” it really has nothing to do with Best Buy but they take the flack.

  5. Buran says:

    @xtc46: In that case it sort of does because if they sell garbage, they get a reputation for selling garbage. Solution: stop selling garbage.

    In this case, they’re not the ones sending the junk and really have no control over it, so it’s not a fair comparison and isn’t similar at all.

  6. RvLeshrac says:


    You can’t simply not sell junk (HP, Dell, Gateway, etc.) products, though, because some people consider them junk and other people swear by them and will refuse to frequent your store if you don’t sell them.

    You know those $200-$400 Acer craptops you see all over the place (Office Depot/Max, BB, Micro Center, Circuit City, etc.)? Well, those exist to get people in the store. They are hideous computers, and break all the time. We can’t be responsible for the poor quality of the product, however, because many people would never set foot in the store if those weren’t on the shelves.

    Just look at all the people scouring the shelves for a cheap no-name HDTV on Black Friday. They’re the people who buy a ‘Hitachki’ TV purely because it costs $10 less than the real brand – then they complain when it isn’t the same quality.

    You can’t buy a Yugo and expect the same performance you’d get from a Ferrari.

    When people stop demanding cheap crap, they can have the right to bitch back. Better yet, complain to the manufacturers of the ‘real’ brands and ask why they frequently charge a ridiculous premium. While many no-name products *are* pure crap, a very small number of them are simply OEM manufacturers. When ‘Sony’ gets stamped on the TV’s bezel, the price goes up $1000.

  7. RvLeshrac says:


    (It should also be noted that many complaints involve products that are defective, but the consumer didn’t attempt to return them in the right way. We’re not responsible for taking back your HP six months from the date of sale – if it ‘didn’t work right’ since the day you bought it, perhaps you should’ve returned it the next day.)

  8. pestie says:

    I had never heard of 5/3 Bank before a crap-ton of phishing e-mails using their name started getting past my spam filter somehow. So now I have a permanent association of 5/3 with fraud and spam. Sucks to be them, I guess.