Phishing attacks are increasing, and more and more people are falling for the tricks used to hook victims. The problem appears to have been made worse over the Christmas period, where online sales have soared this year, with many opportunities for phishing attacks there. Financial institutions have also been badly hit of late, with many phishing attacks targetting the likes of Citibank and the UK bank Lloyds TSB.

Many new tactics have been employed by the "phisherman" to reel in his catch. For example, consider the following new tactic:

The hook is an email offering employment as a regional representative or general assistant with ICG Commerce, with high pay for minimal work. However, the work involved is illegal -transferring funds between accounts on behalf of phishers. ICG Commerce is a legitimate US enterprise. But if a victim clicks on the link included in the email, they are directed to a bogus site not connected with the company. Potential 'employees' are asked to submit personal information, which may later be stolen and used in identity fraud.

Recent phishing attacks also differ from earlier attempts in that they contain none of the crude, amateur graphics and poorly articulated grammar of the older efforts. Often, these new phishing attacks appear very genuine and have taken many people in. Be warned.