Spammers preyed on popular current events in May capitalising on the economic slowdown, petrol prices and natural disasters in order to harvest personal information, according to Symantec’s latest state of spam report.
In one example, spammers promoted foreclosure loan remedies to “help” homeowners relieve their mortgage stress.
Symantec reported that spammers asked end users to visit a website and fill out a form including their personal details and the remaining balance of their mortgage loan.
In a blog post, Kelly Conley from Symantec said: "In May, Symantec observed the continued offers by spammers to avoid home foreclosure. Many of these attempts are directed towards harvesting personal information and not towards helping anyone out of a loan crisis."
In relation to the global energy crisis, Symantec reported that it detected a variety of free gas, or gas cards and products.
In one recent example, spammers insist that with a particular device, the recipient can beat high gas prices by using water instead of gas to fuel their vehicle.
“Spammers are offering gas from unusual sources, like your water faucet. Free gas cards and other products aimed at creating gas out of other unusual sources are also popular with,” said Conley.
Furthermore, spammers generated several spam messages in relation to the cyclone in Burma and the earthquake in China. According to Symantec, it detected earthquake donation email scams requesting donations for the China earthquake victims.
In the month of May, 80 percent of emails detected by Symantec’s global portals were spam with 28 percent of all spam generated from the US; followed by Russia at seven percent and Brazil and China both produced 4 percent.
Mortgage and petrol spam rampant in May
By Staff Writers on Jun 11, 2008 12:52PM