Online bank fraud, for all of its obvious ploys and tired tactics, is still a remarkably effective way to make money. Too lazy or clueless to get a real job? Go phishing. Lots of people are doing it, and by some estimates, it’s evolving into a nearly $1 billion business.
Many industry groups and law enforcement agencies take a shot at estimating the amount of money that’s lost through various forms of online crime and fraud each year, and the numbers can vary wildly. David Jevans of the Anti-Phishing Working Group, which tracks online fraud, told Dark Reading that he believes the total losses for U.S. businesses could approach $1 billion this year, much of it coming from small and medium sized businesses. That’s a massive number, but Jevans explains how he arrives at it:
“Trend-wise, we’ve been looking at reports of
losses since the beginning of last year at $100,000 per incident, and as
we got to the latter of last year, we saw losses in the $400,000 to
$500,000 range, and now we’re seeing losses in the [millions range],”
Jevans says. “Looking at those trend factors and also correlating FBI
reports on how losses are growing and extrapolating that, you end up
somewhere around $1 billion for this year.”
One of the main problems with assessing the accuracy of these estimates is that they, by necessity, rely only on reported losses, as Kelly Jackson Higgins points out. And even at that, it’s difficult to throw a rope around every single reported incident. But the more important point is that this kind of crime has such a high reward/risk ratio that it’s likely going to continue to grow for the foreseeable future. There’s very little standing it the way.
Read the full story at Dark Reading.