In this economic downturn and recession period, retrenchment and pay cut are the most worrying concerns of employees. Employees are apprehensive that the deteriorating market conditions will affect their employment, income flow, etc. Knowing the psychologies of these people, spammers try to capitalize on the recession fears by sending out “recession spam” mails to lure innocent or unsuspecting users. These “recession spam” mails contain texts such as: “Money is tight, times are hard. Christmas is over. Time to get a new watch!”; “Affordable brand name watches”; “Get 15% off these”; “Cheaper than you could imagine”, etc.

A subsidiary of Symantec, MessageLabs, who is also a major provider of integrated messaging and web security services, has highlighted the latest threat trends in its MessageLabs Intelligence February report. “In February, the global financial crisis continued to feed the appetite of the spammers, who sent spam that could be described as ‘recession spam,” the report stated. The recession spam mails attract recipients with saving plans or discounted items. These mails will include a link to the promotion plans and packages. Once recipients click on the link, it will redirect users to spammers’ sites rather than the sites stated.

Just be more aware when you see suspicious-looking “recession spam” mails. Users can read the full MessageLabs Intelligence report via the link here.