Finance-related spam is quickly catching up with healthcare as the most common form of junk email, according to a survey by software vendor Clearswift.
Healthcare spam dropped from 57 per cent of unsolicited mail in March to 40 per cent in April, but finance spam grew from 26 per cent in March to 38 per cent in April.
"The content of spam tends to be seasonal. So, for example, after Christmas, when everyone has binged, we see a lot of spam for weight loss products," Alyn Hockey, research director of security and anti-spam software at Clearswift, told vnunet.com.
"But because filters are getting better, spammers are adapting and financial spam catches the eye because it looks like a newsletter and legitimate."
Financial spam claims to be alerting people to interesting developments in companies, and schemes that could be a goldmine for the investor.
"Most of the companies listed in the spam seem to be valid and may have no idea that they are being used in this way," said Hockey.
"But if you click on the link you find that the blurb in the spam bears little relation to what is said on the company website."
While the content has changed, the amount of spam is still rising. Last month, spam made up more than two-thirds of the 840 messages scanned by email security firm MessageLabs.
"We've seen no sign of a let up in the amount of spam traffic so it seems quite clear that the legislative efforts of governments around the world are having little effect on the spammers," said Hockey.
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