The global Spammed Persistently All Month experiment will take place over 30 days.
Volunteers with new laptops will respond to every spam they receive, and make purchases, sign up for competitions and buy products online.
A record will be kept of their actions in an attempt to track spam patterns.
"Spam is not just a nuisance, it is a tool used by cyber-criminals to steal personal and business data," said Christopher Bolin, chief technology officer at McAfee.
"As scammers become more adept at writing spam in local languages it is becoming more difficult for internet users to detect spam. It is vital that users understand the risks of leaving their computers unprotected."
The 49 participants in Australia, Brazil, France, Germany, Italy, Mexico, the Netherlands, Spain, the UK and the US will blog their experiences as the experiment pregresses.
One of the UK volunteers, a pensioner called 'Vic', is already reporting success.
"Six spam messages from different senders, all with exactly the same time stamp, all offering financial services," he said.
"No wonder the financiers are in trouble. They've known me for half an hour, want to lend me money and supply me with a brand new car, as well as solve all my money troubles before midnight. Would you credit it?"
McAfee volunteers eat spam for 30 days
By Iain Thomson on Apr 4, 2008 7:19AM