IDG’S PC World Warns Against Dangerous Method of Identity Theft – Phishing Award-winning publication strives to serve readers with eight ways to keep identity thieves at bay and four utilities to stay safe online

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – November 16, 2004 – "Protect Your Identity," on page 107 of the December 2004 issue of PC World, takes an in-depth look at "phishing," the most rapidly growing method of identity theft. The article addresses this increasing problem, how most "phishers" operate, and why it is so popular. The issue is on newsstands now and the article can be found online at

"Phishing" has become more prevalent for one reason: it's easy to pull off. Instances of new, distinct e-mail attacks have grown by about 40 to 50 percent monthly. Generally disguised as a legitimate email, "phishers" forge the "from" field of a message so it appears to come from a reputable company. It urges the recipient to click on a link to update and/or verify account information and the link then leads to a Web address and page that look genuine. Once the vital information has been entered, the "phishers" have what they need to rob individuals of their identity, establish new mailing addresses, set up fake businesses, and open new bank or credit card accounts.

Included are two sidebars with information vital to staying safe online: "How to Keep Identity Thieves at Bay" and "Don't Get Reeled In: Antiphishing Tools." A section of the article is also dedicated to helping individuals reclaim their names if the identity theft has already occurred.

Over the past five years, 10 million people have fallen prey to some sort of identity theft: the number of complaints quadrupled between 2000 and 2004. Victims spend approximately $1,400 and 600 hours to clear their names and the average amount the fraudsters spend in their victims' names is $10,200. The total loss to consumers due to identity theft has reached nearly $4 billion, while legitimate businesses have lost an estimated $33 billion due to unrecovered merchandise and related overhead costs dealing with the problem.

About PC World:

PC World Communications, Inc., a subsidiary of IDG, is the publisher of PC World, Digital World, (, and home of the PC World Test Center. The winner of the 2003 Eddie Award for Editorial Excellence, PC World is the most widely-read computer or business publication with a readership of over 4.9 million (IntelliQuest CIMS 2004: total unduplicated, combined Business, Home, and Dual Studies). With over 4 million average unique visitors per month (HitBox, Aug.-Oct. 2004),, winner of the 2004 Neal Award for Best Web Site, is a leading online resource for technology product buyers and users.

All product and company names are trademarks of their respective companies.

Web site:



Recent News

If you would like to interview an IDG employee or quote an article in your news coverage please fill out the form below: