'Phishing' scams luring more users

Tuesday, 20 April 2004, 12:17 AM EST

Phishing is an Internet scam in which unsuspecting users receive official-looking e-mails that attempt to fool them into disclosing online passwords, user names and other personal information. Victims are usually persuaded to click on a link that directs them to a doctored version of an organization's Web site.

MessageLabs, which monitors corporate e-mail traffic, said Monday that in September 2003 the company encountered just 279 phishing e-mails. In January 2004, this figure reached 337,050 and then dropped back to 215,643 by March. The company said it is impossible to estimate exactly how many people have been fooled by the phishers.

By Munir Kotadia at CNET.

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