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Email Scams Already Way More Prevalent in '09

People Still Getting Tricked with Scam Emails

Email Scams Already Way More Prevalent in '09

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Email Scams Prevalent in 2009

Email Scams Already Way More Prevalent in '09

People Still Getting Tricked

We're only on day ten of 2009, and MessageLabs (owned by Symantec) is already telling me that it has detected a significant spike in email fraud and financial scams compared to last year. In the first week, messages with subjects like "Congratulations New Year winner!  You have won the UK National Lottery" make up nearly 10% of all e-mail,  three times what it was in the first two weeks of 2008.

Messagelabs screenshots of scams

"The new year means new opportunities for spammers," says Paul Wood, Senior Analyst, MessageLabs. "As the economic climate continues to be frosty and the inability to secure credit through official channels remains spammers are tempted by the possibility that consumers facing uncertain futures may be more tempted by some of these hard-to-resist offers." 

It is hard to believe these types of scams are still going full throttle, let alone growing so significantly. Yet the numbers lay it out:

Messagelabs Nigerian Scam chart

MessageLabs notes that the scams are getting easier to read and less verbose, as to be more cunning in their attempts to trick unsuspecting victims. All of you potential victims out there, how many people do you know that have just come into large sums of money and been notified simply by an email from a stranger? Think these things out. There must be people still falling for these things or they would become extinct.

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Tags: email scams