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01/23/2013

Spam hits five-year low while phishing scams target Facebook

Fake_groupon_message_scamNoticing fewer emails in your inbox trying to sell Viagra, low-interest loans and payday advances? The Internet security experts at Kaspersky Lab say the amount of spam landing in our mailbox has hit a five-year low.

The Spam Evolution 2012 report from Kaspersky suggests the drop in spam is due to the widespread use of spam filters by pretty much everyone, whether it's built in to Gmail or running on software on someone's computer.

But while the volume of unwanted junk mail is down, spammers are getting more creative to get you to read their messages. And they're also using sites like Facebook.

While spammers used to send emails pretending to be from your web host or IT department asking for your login details, they're finding new ways to grab your attention.

Many of us receive daily deal emails from services such as Groupon. Well now, the experts say spammers are sending messages pretending to be from these deal sites.

The email will pitch a deal that's too good to be true, and the victim will then enter in their details to buy the special promotion.

Also on the rise is phishing attacks on social networking services such as Facebook. Almost a quarter of all phishing attacks were actually launched on Facebook as scammers try and get a user's username and password.

Quite often, the scam will involve a user seeing a friend share an unbelievable video or picture. After they click on the video to see it, they're asked to type in their username and password on a fake login screen that looks quite similar to a real Facebook login.

That's when the account has been compromised, and cybercriminals send malware to their Facebook friends. After all, you're more likely to click on something shared by a friend rather than by a random user.

Have you noticed a decrease in the amount of spam you receive?

- Maurice Cacho, MSN Tech & Gadgets

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Danny BradburyDanny Bradbury

Danny Bradbury is a technology journalist with 20 years' experience. He writes regularly for publications including the Guardian, the Financial Times, the Financial Post, and Backbone magazine. Danny also writes and directs documentaries.

Maurice CachoMaurice Cacho

Maurice Cacho is a Toronto-based journalist mixing his love for tech with a passion for news. He's also CP24's Web Journalist and appears daily on CP24 Breakfast and weekly on the channel's tech show, Webnation, discussing tech news and trends.

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