A UK anti-spam company has claimed that the majority of attempts to steal UK citizens' personal bank details via email are by US-based spammers.
ClearMyMail has said for some time that phishing emails are predominantly coming from the US, estimating the figure at 54 per cent of all such emails.
Spain is the second biggest culprit at 3.8 per cent, followed by Germany at 2.9 per cent and Korea at 2.8 per cent.
France comes in fifth at 2.7 per cent, followed by China at 2.7 per cent, Russia at 2.5 per cent, Japan at 2.2 per cent, Uruguay at 1.8 per cent and the UK at 1.4 per cent.
ClearMyMail has called on ISPs and the UK government to better engage with their foreign counterparts to try and stop phishing attacks.
While ISPs in the UK face tough controls and pressure to prevent spam and the causes of spam, this is not the case elsewhere in the world.
Some ISPs leave their mail servers unprotected so that anyone can send email through them, according to ClearMyMail.com.
In some cases they may be aware that their equipment is being used to spam foreign countries, but do not stop it as they are being paid, the firm said.
There are further complications in China where the internet using population is the fastest growing in the world and is a major target for emails containing viruses.
The viruses often form botnets which are used by spammers to send huge numbers of emails, all un-policed and un-checked.
Dan Field, managing director of ClearMyMail, said: "We know that spammers are using the most advanced forms of technology in order to send more and more of these phishing emails.
"Governments around the globe should put more pressure on banks, ISPs and police forces to manage the issue, especially as Britain seems to be the main focus for most of these attacks.
"To some degree you can understand the lack of a cohesive campaign to prevent this happening in less well-developed countries.
"But when you see that the US is top of the poll, and you take into account all the tools at its disposal for ridding the world of these criminals, I cannot help but feel disappointed that Americans are not doing more to prevent this happening."
Anti-spam firm blasts US on phishing record
By Clement James on Oct 19, 2007 2:21PM