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8/10/2005
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Spammers Scare To Sell

Spammers have tired of their traditional hard-sell sales tactics and are switching to scare tactics instead, a messaging security firm said Wednesday.

Spammers have tired of their traditional hard-sell sales tactics and are switching to scare tactics instead, a messaging security firm said Wednesday.

According to Clearswift, a Redwood City, Calif.-based spam promoting personal or family safety is on the upswing. A new wave of junk mail, with alarmist subject headings such as "Protect your child from sex offenders! Download now!" and "You can't see it, but it can see you," is hitting mailboxes, said Clearswift.

"This shift toward a calculated attempt to frighten consumers into making purchases is very well timed," said Alyn Hockey, Clearswift's director of research, in a statement. "[But] there's something ironic in spammers offering users security products when unsolicited e-mail is often used in the proliferation of security threats."

Phishing messages purporting to be from PayPal are also on the rise, Clearswift noted. Even so, less than 2 percent of all spam is scam related.

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