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BizReport : Research archives : December 13, 2006

Phishers Go Outside Financial Box

According to new research, phishing scams are switching teams. Rather than focusing on financial information, the hoaxes are baiting consumers with brands like Coke and McDonalds.

by Kristina Knight

Phishing scams are now using promotions, giveaways and sweepstakes as lures to grab personal information.

"That red Coke logo is a shiny lure to get you to go through the load-in on your inbox, open up and then click through," said John Roberts, VP-product, OpenDNS, a year-old domain-name-system service platform (via MarketingVOX). "Anything which can take decades of brand promise and put it to use for criminal activity is going to be tried."

According to AntiPhishing.Org, the number of unique phishing URLs jumped to more than 37,000 in October, that is a 757% increase over the number of sites in October 2005. Phishers spoofed approximately 176 brands in October.

Phishing scams are one of the most threatening for online marketers. With marketers trying to create a one-to-one relationship with users, phishing threatens that burgeoning relationship by eroding trust.

How do you protect the brand? By knowing exactly how brand is being used – or abused – online.

Dave Jevans, chairman of the Anti-Phishing Working Group, said (via MarketingVOX), “If [consumers] start getting emails and you don't do anything about it, they think your website has been hacked and that their personal information has been compromised. If it doesn't stop happening…your online marketing effectiveness plummets."

Tags: brand management, Coca-Cola, fraud, McDonald's, phishing

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