Identity deception is a common theme uniting most successful phishing attacks by opportunistic cybercriminals. They tap into the personal data cache available online to spoof the identities of people or brands.

That is a finding of San Mateo, Calif.-based security provider Agari's executive brief, Top Phishing Attacks: Discovery and Prevention Solutions.

Scammers are increasingly convincing unknowing victims to surrender confidential information or transfer money into fraudulent accounts. They also seek to spread malware and compromise IT environments by deceiving recipients into opening email attachments or clicking through to corrupted web pages.

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Roy Urrico

Roy W. Urrico specializes in articles about financial technology and services for Credit Union Times, as well as ghostwriting, copywriting, and case studies. Also: writer/editor of a semi-annual newsletter for Association for Financial Technology since 1997 and history projects funded by the U.S Interior Department, National Park Service and Warren County (N.Y.).