Within a few weeks there has been a 700 percent rise in "pump and dump" stock scams designed to increase share revenue. The spams are a re-emergence of a trend that began last year.
"The spammers clearly enjoyed a certain degree of success with these scams last year, and it seems they're coming back again for another pop," said Alyn Hockey, director of research at Clearswift. "Even if the insider tip is rubbish, the surge in interest means an increase in value - it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy."
The popularity of emails that hype stock has become such that they now account for over a quarter of all spam emails. Their advantage is, without the usual litany of phrases concerning sex and erectile dysfunction that cause some emails to be automatically removed by spam filters, some will get through to the intended user rather than simply a spam-box.
Earlier this week SC reported spam and viruses were still on the rise, but companies have a much better handle on them. According to one report spam now comprised 94 percent of all email traffic.