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Phishing and ID theft have superseded spam as a consumer worry, a recent survey shows. Phishing attacks use spoofed e-mails and fraudulent Web sites disguised as legitimate business correspondence to fool recipients into divulging their personal information, such as bank-account, credit-card and Social Security numbers.

More than one-third of consumers surveyed by e-mail marketing firm Bigfoot Interactive say they have received a fraudulent or phishing e-mail. The good news is that 64% of respondents said they could detect such an e-mail when they received it.

Spam, which used to be the No. 1 scourge of the inbox, is now a rather minor concern, with 57% of respondents saying that the amount of spam they get has decreased over the past year. A majority of consumers also said that the e-mails they received from companies they do business with are more targeted than they were a year ago. One big reason for this trend seems to be that consumers have become more educated about how to protect themselves against spam-65% said they use anti-spam filtering or software that proves the message is authentic.

Al DiGuido, CEO of Bigfoot Interactive, said that thanks to publicity, consumer outrage and the federal Can Spam Act, consumers are aware of how to protect themselves. "Phishing will be diminished when people are completely educated."

The Bigfoot-sponsored study was conducted independently by RoperASW. Results are based on telephone interviews conducted in February with 1,004 adults who are 18 or older.

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