Like Retailers, Spammers Gear Up for Holidays

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Retailers are not alone in preparing for a busy holiday season.


Spammers have gotten a jump on the holidays by increasing the frequency of spam offering cheap loans, according to figures released Nov. 10 by United Kingdom e-mail management company Clearswift.


Clearswift's spam index for October showed 24 percent was finance-related, with 15 percent for direct products. Finance-related spam rose from 12 percent a month earlier, Clearswift said, attributing it to spammers looking to entice cash-strapped shoppers into taking out loans.


"Not only are spammers developing more and more cunning ways of getting around e-mail filtering technology, but their marketing strategy is clearly up to scratch, too," Alyn Hockey, Clearswift's director of research, said in a statement.


Health-related products were the most popular spam category, accounting for 27 percent, while pornography made up 16 percent of Clearswift's sample. Clearswift compiles its spam index based on e-mails it receives, those going to dummy accounts it has set up and those submitted by customers.


According to Brightmail, 52 percent of e-mail traffic in October was spam, down slightly from 54 percent in September. Brightmail pegged finance-related offers as the second-most-popular category, garnering 16 percent. Products were the top spam category, accounting for 21.5 percent of spam, it reported.


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