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Risk

11/20/2008
12:29 PM
Keith Ferrell
Keith Ferrell
Commentary
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As More Lose Jobs, More Job-Spam Scams On The Loose

Spammers get their clicks by preying upon fear, among other things. And as unemployment levels rise, job, income and related concerns are becoming more common spam-prompts than ever.And prime among them are money-mule scams that try to rope people into laundering money from home.

Spammers get their clicks by preying upon fear, among other things. And as unemployment levels rise, job, income and related concerns are becoming more common spam-prompts than ever.And prime among them are money-mule scams that try to rope people into laundering money from home.A new warning from Panda Labs shows the numbers behind the scams: over the past couple of months as unemployment has climbed skyward the number of spams seeking to enlist accomplices in "work from home" international funds transfers and other job-related spam has increased by more than 500 percent.

While the come-ons'-- "Help us get our funds out of [country name here]" -- share of total spam remains relatively small ().31 percent) that percentage is growing quickly.

More troublesome is the local success rate of mule and other job-scams. Success rate for the spammers launching the campaigns is as much as 66 percent higher in the U.S than in other regions.

You gotta wonder just what it'll take to get that rate to drop. These aren't your father's "Nigerian Fund Transfer Assistance" text-spams, but increasingly sophisticated, legit-looking phishmails that are clearly effective and likely to become more so.

And you need to check with your employees and co-workers to make sure that they're up-to-speed on this one. Money mule scams have been around for awhile, but as the economy stutters it looks like more and more mules are going to be saddled up and spammed your way.

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