UK networks are drowning in a sea of spam as the volume of unsolicited email increases from one message in 200 to one in eight.
Volumes of spam have rocketed over the last year, according statistics issued by email security company MessageLabs. an email security company.
In January 2002 one in every 199 UK emails was spam. But by June this figure was one in 36 and in November it stands at one in eight.
MessageLabs has so far intercepted 45 spam emails every minute in 2002.
Mark Sunner, chief technical officer at MessageLabs, said the situation was set to get worse.
"Spam has the ability to severely compromise UK business productivity and these new statistics bear that out. Although companies cannot stop the spammers themselves, they can protect their businesses from suffering," he said.
So-called '419' emails have increased dramatically over the last year. The emails offer large amounts of money to get a substantial - but non-existent - sum of money out of Nigeria.
The UK National Criminal Intelligence Service estimates that up to five Americans are waiting in London hotel lobbies every day to meet people connected with the Nigerian scam.
But the UK is not suffering as badly as the US, where spam has increased from one in 37 emails to one in three during November.
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