With Valentine’s day a little over two weeks away it is not surprising that spammers are already targeting this holiday. Valentine’s Day is a common target for spammers and in January 2009 the top five Valentine’s Day-related spam subject lines were as follows:
1. Increase your length, the best valentine’s gift
2. Show off your length for valentine’s
3. Get it before Valentine’s day and watch her smile
4. You have been invited to partake in a shopping spree with [Removed] This Month for Valentines!
5. Happy Early Valentines Day, You have been selected to go on a $1000 Shopping spree to [Removed]
From time to time the products that spammers offer are surprising. A recent spam sample offered the perfect engagement ring but you would have to wonder about their target audience; seriously, who would buy an engagement ring from a spam email?
It is true that with the economic downturn that people and companies are trying to cut back and save on certain purchases. Financial analysts have noted, for example, that jewelers have been badly hit during the recession. A sales slump at a high profile U.S.-based jeweler has resulted in 218 store closures and a 90% drop in their stock price since late 2008. However, people who try and purchase an engagement ring through a spam email are very likely to obtain more than just a spouse. Malware and phishing could come attached as rebate!
It is also certain that no one is safe when it comes to spam email. While the true cost of spam is difficult to measure, some estimates put the cost at $130 billion worldwide, of which $42 billion is in the United States alone. In 2009, Symantec estimated that more than 40 trillion spam messages were sent, with this message volume adding costs to the creation and maintenance of mail infrastructures.
So here is a brilliant proposal: stay away from Valentine’s Day spam. Or, better yet, simply stay away from spam!