Tuesday, May 29, 2007

I've had now 3 different fraud attempts in the last week (we need your help to claim x million dollars...) appear in my inbox, both at work and at my personal address, making it past all spam filters. I have another 2 in my junk email at work, where I hardly get any spam at all. It's odd to me that this has happened so suddenly. Maybe these people are in the US and have more time over memorial day.

In other spam news, I was going through my spam the other day to make sure nothing important was being filtered out (I actually found that the filters were grabbing my Vonage email, so it was a worthwhile exercise). Most of the spam was related to certain drugs, and it made me wonder what caused these drugs to be responsible for 80% of my email. This is my conclusion:

  • Viagra/Cialis/etc. are marketed to help with issues that people might not want to discuss out in the open - email gives them anonymity and frees them from embarassment.
  • They are expensive, and those that want the drug have a strong desire to realize some cost savings. This thought is reinforced by the fact that a good portion of email not relating to these drugs are referring to ways of getting cheap drugs in general.
  • They are expensive, meaning that the spammers realize a lot of profit if they can sell fraudulent (or maybe even real?) pills.
Next in the list was spam related to attempts to gain access to my personal information (phishing), followed by stock tips. Stock tips have historically been the most successful at getting through the filters. They tend to also use images containing text, rather than just sending their message as text in the body. I don't usually look at any spam that sits in the spam filter, so it's unclear to me how many other messages use the technique.

Emil's Wicked Cool Blog