Feeds

Email 'get rich quick' scams double in October

Smut and gambling promos take a dive

SANS - Survey on application security programs

Incidence of email "get rich quick" scams more than doubled (albeit from a low base) last month, according to email security firm Clearswift. It warns surfers to disregard spurious "work from home opportunities" received via junk mail which are normally designed to lure naive users into criminal enterprises. After accounting for 0.5 per cent of spam emails in September these work at home scams made up 1.2 per cent of junk emails caught in a Clearswift's sieve last month.

These so-called opportunities typically come in two flavours. The first involves accepting delivery of goods paid for with a stolen credit card, then forwarding them further along the chain, and the second is a simple money-laundering role where the "worker" acts as a laundering mule.

Older get rich scams involving share tips are still much more commonplace. Here so-called experts advise would-be investors to back certain shares in an attempt to raise the price to a level where the perpetrators can pull out having made a quick buck. "In a similar manner to the investments themselves, penny shares are a very volatile spam category, rising and falling heavily over time. This October, these have almost trebled in volume to count almost a third of all spam," Clearswift notes.

As "get rich quick" scams have increased in prevalence other categories, including phishing fraud and pornographic junk mail, have taken a nose-dive, according to Clearswift's latest monthly spam index. Phishing - where crooks set up a fake banking websites in order to gather credit card details of gullible users - has suffered a decline, now accounting for only 0.4 per cent of all unsolicited mail. Clearswift reckons greater awareness of the existence of phishing scams has contributed to their decline.

This rise in stocks and potentially illegal employment scams comes as other traditional tricks decline in popularity, notably the advance fee fraud (419) scam emails. The decreased incidents of 419 scam emails has happened despite efforts by the Lads from Lagos to diversify and send mails ostensibly from different countries - including China, Indonesia and Russia - and different business types as well as the familiar pleading letters from the families of ousted West African generals.

Continuing a recent trend, pornographic spam has plummeted by over half during October, and gambling promotions have all but disappeared. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Obama allows NSA to exploit 0-days: report
If the spooks say they need it, they get it
Samsung Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner hacked in just 4 DAYS
Sammy's newbie cooked slower than iPhone, also costs more to build
Putin tells Snowden: Russia conducts no US-style mass surveillance
Gov't is too broke for that, Russian prez says
Snowden-inspired crypto-email service Lavaboom launches
German service pays tribute to Lavabit
Mounties always get their man: Heartbleed 'hacker', 19, CUFFED
Canadian teen accused of raiding tax computers using OpenSSL bug
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Call of Duty 'fragged using OpenSSL's Heartbleed exploit'
So it begins ... or maybe not, says one analyst
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.