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Phishing is growing as fast as spam did a couple years ago, and it’s in many ways more dangerous, since it can result in lost privacy and stolen money, not to mention damage to a financial institituion’s reputation. Here are two charts from Forrester Research that help tell the tale about the growth of e-mail-driven identity theft. The first illustrates how identity theft crimes overall have grown nearly seven-fold in the past three years, costing U.S. businesses and consumers more than $50 billion a year. The second shows the fast-growing amount of fraudulent e-mail filtered out by Brightmail, a widely used spam filter service recently acquired by Internet security giant Symantec. Snagged phishing attempts caught by the filters quadrupled in just six months.

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