Nearly 1 in 5 U.S. adults have fallen victim to at least one internet scam
At least, that's according to a survey conducted by Harris interactive and sponsored by Microsoft. The survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive on behalf of Microsoft Corporation between May 22 and May 24, 2007 amongst 2,482 adults aged 18 and over. Figures for region, age within gender, education, household income and race/ethnicity were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. The data were also weighted to be representative of the online population of U.S. adults on the basis of Internet usage (hours per week) and connection type.
81 percent of the victims surveyed admitted that they did something that led to the crime, such as opening an e-mail that appeared to be from a legitimate person or company.
The survey reports that:
"We found that online men claim to be more informed of online fraud; 47 percent of men said they are very knowledgeable or knowledgeable of online scams, compared with only 36 percent of women. However, despite claiming to be more knowledgeable, men are more likely than women to be victims of online crime. The survey found that 69 percent of women claimed they have never been a victim of an Internet scam, compared with just 63 percent of men. Despite these differences in self-assessment and experiences, both men and women are much more concerned now about the risks of using the Internet than they were one year ago (71 percent). However, women are more likely than men to be more concerned (78 percent women vs. 63 percent men)."
It is noted that the Anti-Phishing Working Group, of which Microsoft is a member, found that the number of unique phishing sites detected increased 166 percent between March 2007 and April 2007.