Spam growth increases during March

March was another bumper month for spam. The latest figures reveal a continued increase in the amount of unsolicited email traffic

Anti-spam firm Brightmail recorded a 4 percent month-on-month increase in the amount of spam detected by its Probe Network. More alarmingly, compared to the same month last year, there has been a near 100 percent hike.

The most common kinds of spam can best be described as the usual suspects, with porn, scams, financial services and product offers -- such as natural Viagra or weight loss pills -- all featuring heavily.

According to Brightmail's figures, the most common scam is the notorious and typically Nigerian-based 419 con, where recipients are offered a share of an unclaimed fortune. Pyramid schemes and chain letters are still going strong. Anybody using a Hotmail or similar Webmail account would doubtless add the sale of trumped-up degrees and qualifications to that list.

In total scams and other financial offers -- such as the grey area of low interest loans and mortgages -- account for 27 percent of all spam (10 percent scams, 17 percent financial offers).

Adult spam, such as solicitations to visit porn sites or advertisements for premium rate phone numbers, accounts for 19 percent of all spam. Product advertising accounts for a further 19 percent, rising to 23 percent when you factor in the separate category of medical products such as miracle pills and potions.

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