NCL issues report with recommendations. Press release:
Consumer confidence in conducting business and protecting personal data online is threatened every day by phishing scams. In an initiative led by the National Consumers League (NCL), law enforcement, financial services and technical industries have joined forces to combat this threat. The group today issued a "call to action" with the release of a paper outlining key recommendations that form a comprehensive plan for combating phishing more effectively.
Phishing is a large and growing problem, in which identity thieves pose as legitimate companies, government agencies, or other trusted entities in order to trick consumers into providing their bank account numbers, Social Security numbers, and other personal information. In 2005, phishing scams ranked 6th in Internet complaints to NCL's Internet Fraud Watch program and the scams continue to dupe consumers. A May 2005 consumer survey by First Data found that 43 percent of respondents had received a phishing contact, and of those, 5 percent (approximately 4.5 million people) provided the requested personal information. Nearly half of the phishing victims, 45 percent, reported that their information was used to make an unauthorized transaction, open an account, or commit another type of identity theft.
NCL's new report, the result of a comprehensive three-day brainstorming retreat organized by the Washington-based consumer advocacy organization last September, makes multiple recommendations on how to combat it.