Phishing on the road to Wigan Pier

When you see as many spam and phishing emails as we see in SophosLabs each day, it’s all too easy to forget the human consequence of all this unwanted junk.

The sad truth is that people are being conned into handing over their bank account information, PIN numbers and credit card details 24 hours a day. And for the criminals working behind the scenes on these scams, it’s an industry that is keeping them in clover.

Although many of us may simply hit the delete button, or purge our quarantine of messages identified as unwanted spam, it’s probably worth while every now and then reflecting on the human cost of some of these malicious campaigns.

Today I read the story of Sarah Smith, a 29-year-old mother from Wigan, England. Sarah has been left with thousands of pounds worth of debt after phishers raided her bank account of £1,800 and extended her overdraft to a hefty £2,500.

Sarah, who has a 16-month-old daughter, claims that just before she went on a two week family holiday to…

Read more in my article on the Naked Security website.

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Graham Cluley is a veteran of the cybersecurity industry, having worked for a number of security companies since the early 1990s when he wrote the first ever version of Dr Solomon's Anti-Virus Toolkit for Windows. Now an independent analyst, he regularly makes media appearances and is an international public speaker on the topic of cybersecurity, hackers, and online privacy. Follow him on Twitter, Mastodon, Bluesky, or drop him an email.