Get rich quick e-mail scams more than doubled in October, according to the monthly Clearswift Spam Index.
Shady work from home opportunities topped the spam scam list. Most job opportunities involved redistributing money or accepting and redelivering packages. According to Clearswift many of these schemes involve money laundering and goods bought with stolen credit card details.
Clearswift also warned against an old favourite, penny shares tips. These emails deliver 'expert advice' urging the purchase of particular shares to raise the price, which are then quickly sold by the perpetrator of the scam. In October this spam category almost trebled to nearly a third of all spam. Phishing, where criminals set up a fake version of a banking website to obtain credit card details, declined accounting for only 0.4 percent of all unsolicited e-mail in October.
The company's Asia Pacific managing director Peter Croft said as people become more aware of scams like phishing, spammers are finding new tricks to earn a living. "They're motivated by money and are endlessly creative in trying get hold of everyone else's," he said.
Fake stock tips and dodgy employment offers increased as other traditional tricks declined, particularly the variety known as Nigerian letters. This is despite diversification, with e-mails generated from different countries including China, Indonesia and Russia and different business types such as charities, art dealers and mining companies.
Continuing the trend, pornographic spam plummeted by over half during October and gambling promotions all but disappeared.