Money Laundering, Terrorism and Financial Institutions - USA Patriot Act Monitor

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6/15/2004 USA PATRIOT Act Monitor News Release: Phishing Schemes Nearly Doubling Every Month
In phishing, an email directs the recipient to a website, usually designed to look official, or at least legitimate, where the user is asked to update personal and financial information. Those who provide the information become victims of identity theft. Websites to which phishing emails direct those receiving them may purport to be sites of government agencies, financial firms, internet auctions, or electronic payment services. A report from the Anti-Phishing Working Group, "Phishing Attack Trends Report," concludes that phishing as a business is growing exponentially, with an increase of 180% from March to April 2004 (www.antiphishing.org/APWG_Phishing_Attack_Report-Mar2004.pdf). Phishing is now the subject of a report released by two groups, the Finance and Banking Information Infrastructure Committee (FBIIC), and the Financial Services Sector Coordinating Council (FSSCC). The FBIIC is composed of representatives from federal and state regulators, while the FSSCC consists of representatives from financial services organizations and trade associations. The report, "Lessons Learned by Consumers, Financial Sector Firms, and Government Agencies during the Recent Rise of Phishing Attacks," jointly prepared by the FBIIC and the FSSCC, is posted on the Treasury website (www.treas.gov/press/releases/js1690.htm). Given the rapid increase in phishing schemes, and the reputational risk to financial institutions, aggressive efforts are required in responding to this threat to the financial system. These reports will the subject of further analysis in the June issue of the Monitor.

The USA PATRIOT Act Monitor and the news releases prepared by the Monitor staff are services of the Civic Research Institute, publisher of Money Laundering, Terrorism, and Financial Institutions, by Raymond Banoun and John Ensminger. Contact and subscription information may be obtained at http://www.civicresearchinstitute.com/moneylaundering or by calling the Civic Research Institute at 609-683-4450 (fax: 609-683-7291).

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