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Scams And Spam Found to Expand Globally

Incidences of scams and commercial spam mails are rising in the Asia-Pacific region, as per a report by Symantec, published by Smarthouse on June 15, 2007.

Doug Bowers, senior director of anti-abuse engineering at Symantec in a statement published by Smarthouse on June 15, 2007, said, the rising trend indicates that spammers are increasingly turning to financially motivated attacks and are also generating success.

Symantec has noticed an increase in scams and fraud internationally especially in the APJ (Asia-Pacific and Japan) region. The company attributes this partly to the dominance of invoice spam there. spammers create fake invoices using names of legitimate businesses and then attempt to sell them for monetary gains. Symantec plans to continue monitoring this trend to watch if it extends globally, reports Smarthouse on June 15, 2007.

Symantec further said that the pump-and-dump spam that relates to financial services is the most common type of spam, which accounted for 30% of total unsolicited e-mails that the company identified in the second half of 2006.

Over the period, July 1 to December 31 2006, spam constituted 59% of the entire e-mail traffic that Symantec monitored, said Patrick Evans, Symantec's regional director, in a statement published by Myadsl.co.za on June 15, 2007.

Criminal Organizations search for small, non-liquidated shares that trade only on small-scale stock exchanges. They then circulate false press releases to raise public interest in the company they target. They also exaggerate the company's financial status by posting untrue information in online bulletin boards that armchair investors and day traders visit. When these organizations evaluate that price of the shares are at a peak, they sell their shares and reap profits.

At first, pump-and-dump scams were prominent in US but now these attacks are increasing on European stock exchanges, said Evans. The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) have estimated US $1 Billion in losses due to pump-and-dump scams.

Evans said there might not be any pump-and-dump scam attempts associated with JSE-listed companies as it require fraudsters to have a vast number of Internet traders and South Africa only has few.

Related article: Scansafe Claims that malware Grew by 35% in April

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