Latest spam emails are 'almost foolproof'


Spammers are increasingly piggybacking on the reputation of big brand names to take advantage of their online audiences, according to McAfee.

In its new spam report, McAfee also said that it was also seeing an increase in targeted' or 'spear' phishing, and brand abuse in non-phishing emails.

McAfee warned that corporations needed to be vigilant about the type of brand abuse that criminal gangs would use to "tap into" their audiences.

The security company said this type of fraud damaged the reputation of companies, costing them prestige, customers and revenue.

"Because spammers generate enough spam to send everyone in the world more than 30 messages every day, they must believe they control the bandwidth to take advantage of demographics and corporate identities," the report said.

The report outlined example of financial brand abuse with online scams involving fake Western Union money transfers, where a scammer would send fake cheques to victims in return for a lesser amount of real money.

The report said that that spammers were getting better at mimicking banks and cash services that users might fall for.

"Banks and financial institutions have tried to fight back, but spammers are getting more sophisticated," said the report.

"It used to be easy to spot a spam message: poor language, misspellings, grammar errors, and sloppy graphics... But the latest spams are professional, and almost foolproof."