Phishing and identity theft are scary threats because they can result in some severe consequences:
Financial loss The most likely result of phishing is being ripped off and losing the cash in your bank or financial account.
Bad credit If a wily phisher gets his hands on a credit vehicle such as a credit card or line of credit, he can put you into debt and leave you on the hook to pay the bill.
More severe identity theft Although phishing victims typically suffer a one-time hit, in which their bank account is drained, the acquisition of personal information could lead to more severe identity theft. People whose identities have been stolen can spend years trying to clean up the mess made of their good name and credit profile. It can lead to a huge disruption in lifestyle, financial loss, and even being wrongly accused of crimes they haven't committed.