Feeds

Email 'get rich quick' scams double in October

Smut and gambling promos take a dive

Security for virtualized datacentres

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. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
NASTY SSL 3.0 vuln to be revealed soon – sources (Update: It's POODLE)
So nasty no one's even whispering until patch is out
Russian hackers exploit 'Sandworm' bug 'to spy on NATO, EU PCs'
Fix imminent from Microsoft for Vista, Server 2008, other stuff
Microsoft pulls another dodgy patch
Redmond makes a hash of hashing add-on
'LulzSec leader Aush0k' found to be naughty boy not worthy of jail
15 months home detention leaves egg on feds' faces as they grab for more power
Forget passwords, let's use SELFIES, says Obama's cyber tsar
Michael Daniel wants to kill passwords dead
FBI boss: We don't want a backdoor, we want the front door to phones
Claims it's what the Founding Fathers would have wanted – catching killers and pedos
Kill off SSL 3.0 NOW: HTTPS savaged by vicious POODLE
Pull it out ASAP, it is SWISS CHEESE
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.