Email Users Opened 1 in 6 Phishing Messages, or 10 million Per Day

On average, email users opened 1 in 6 phishing messages (fake email messages created to defraud consumers), according to a study from ICONIX, a provider of visual email identification solutions. 

Based on the industry estimates that 59 million phishing messages are sent per day, this study indicates that as many as 10 million fake messages may be opened per day, creating huge risk for people receiving the messages. 

The study also found that consumers' tendency to open spoof messages varied widely according to the type of message. Open rates ranged from a high of 1 in 4 fake messages claiming to be from social networks to a low of 1 in 10 fake messages purportedly from dating services.

The open rate of spoofed messages breaks down as follows:

  • Social networks - 24.9%

  • E-cards - 17.1%

  • Payment - 16.2%

  • Financial - 15.5%

  • Auction - 14.7%

  • Info - 12.9%

  • Retail - 12.1%

  • Dating - 9.5%

The study included 10,557 participants, and was conducted during a six month time period from May-October 2006. 

In order to help consumers identify legitimate messages and avoid phishing attacks, ICONIX has developed its Truemark service, which now supports email clients used by over 120 million consumers.  

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