The New York Times > Business > Business Special > Trying to Reach Customers in an Era of E-Mail Suspicion: "Will 2005 be the year of the unanswered e-mail message?
It could shape up that way as consumers become more wary about opening unexpected messages, fearing they might be duped or even robbed. In particular, Internet executives and analysts are closely tracking the rise of a type of e-mail fraud that began in earnest in 2003 but has reached huge proportions this year, and that constitutes a form of identity theft.
A survey conducted in April by Gartner, a technology consulting firm, found that about 57 million Americans had been exposed to phishing attacks in the previous 12 months, with 19 percent of those people clicking on the link in the phishing e-mail messages. Victims lost $1.2 billion, Gartner estimated."