A new online community that tracks phishing sites released its first monthly statistical review this week.

PhishTank, a community-based organization run by OpenDNS, found that the leading brands misrepresented by phishing scams in October were PayPal and eBay. All others in the top ten list were financial entities, including Bank of America, Wells Fargo and Key Bank.

Approximately 7,000 possible phishing scams were reported by PhishTank members in October, with over half verified by the organization as phishing messages. The site launched just over a month ago.

According to the group's compiled numbers for October, the United States led all nations, hosting 24 percent of reported phishing sites. South Korea followed the U.S. with 14 percent and India was third with eight percent of hosted phishing sites.

Gartner analysts predicted recently that phishing could create a public reluctance to do business online, potentially inhibiting U.S. e-commerce growth rates by three percent through 2008.

The firm said that an estimated 2.4 million American adults reported losing money through phishing attacks last year, while total financial losses due to phishing added up to $929 million.

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