Have Yourself a Very Spammy Christmas

Posted on November 20, 2006

It is that time of year again when your email boxes start to get more and more spam in them. Mass emailers target consumers harder this time of year according to a News.com story.
Mass e-mailers traditionally bump up their activity as the year winds down. But this year, the amount of junk messages could be unprecedented, companies that make spam-busting tools say. And senders of unsolicited ads are already celebrating the close of the harvest season and the approach of Christmas.

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There's a holiday spam spike every year, because people are more likely to open the messages, experts said. Consumers are shopping online more, are desperate for gift ideas and expect electronic greeting cards. Spammers exploit all of that by sending fake order confirmations and e-cards and, of course, suggesting their products as gifts.

"People sell fake Rolexes via spam e-mail, and fake Rolexes make good holiday gifts," Pao said. "We expect that the amount of overall holiday-related spam to increase up to 50 percent during the week of Thanksgiving and continue through New Year's. It looks like this could turn out to be the largest, and longest, holiday spam season ever."

New tricks
There are a number of reasons for the rising tide of messages, experts say. For one, spammers are constantly looking for and finding new ways to reach unsuspecting people, said Miles Libbey, a product manager at Yahoo. "We continue to work tirelessly to make sure junk mail goes into the spam folder," he said. Yahoo, which operates one of the most popular free e-mail services, is using technology and collaborating with others to bust spam rings, Libbey said.
The article cites MessageLabs, an antispam specialist firm, as expecting the number of unsolicited messages to climb from 88.7% in October to 90% in November and December. The article also cites a company named IronPort that predicts the number of spam messages will average a staggering 78 billion a day in December. Santa needs to put the people responsible for all this spam on a permanent naughty list.