UK payment association APACS said it tracked more than 10,200 phishing incidents between January and March of this year. All the incidents were targeted at formal financial institutions, such as banks. The figure represents a 200 percent increase over the same period last year. However, losses to bank fraud have declined by one third this year.
"Although online banking fraud losses fell last year the fraudsters clearly aren't giving up. Phishing scams are continuing to rise and they are becoming ever more sophisticated, which is why we want to remind people to remain wise to them," said Sandra Quinn, director of communications at APACS.
Compounding the problem, one third of UK consumers don't have adequate protection on their computers. APACS warned that 20 percent of online users don't follow simple common sense precautions. While 93 percent have antivirus software nearly 30 percent don't use anti-spyware software.
The UK recently revised its banking code to include a new section that defines responsibility for fraud. According to the new code section, consumers are not liable for fraud unless they've acted fraudulently themselves or failed to take reasonable care in defending against fraud.