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Spam Still a Problem; 'Finance' Tops Spammers' Favorite Topics

Without spam protection, the average web user can expect to get 70 spam messages each day, according to a survey by McAfee, the BBC reports.

For the McAfee spam test, 50 people worldwide were asked to web-surf without a spam filter. Some results follow:

  • UK residents are most likely to receive sex spam, and emails from Nigerian nobles in "dire straits."
  • The most popular offers were financial: usually solicitations for pre-approved loans or credit cards.
  • Eight percent of spam received are "phish" — emails that appear to come from an official source, then request personal account data such as passwords or bank numbers.
  • Spam efforts are more sophisticated, having shifted from a mass-mailer model to more targeted campaigns.

The 10 most popular spam categories:

1. Advertisements
2. Financial
3. Health and medicine
4. Adult services
5. Free stuff
6. Education
7. IT related
8. Money making
9. Credit cards
10. Watch ads

United States participants topped the spam count, receiving 23,233 junk messages over the course of the experiment. Brazil followed with 15,856; Italy ranked third with 15,610.

The United Kingdom ranked fifth, with 11,965 spam messages. German participants attracted the least: 2,331 spam messages total.


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