Scams through web
based SPAM seem to be increasing in frequency in recent
SPAM is often associated with EMail systems. However the term SPAM, and
certainly the concept, can also be problematic when using the web. SPAM
on the web includes primarily social networking sites and forums.
Briefly SPAM is generally unsolicited messages,
that are generally sent in mass quantities. The messages can be sent to
EMail accounts, instant messaging systems, social network users, forums,
news/article posts and the list goes on.
Spammers seem to have taken advantage of the social networking that is
increasing in popularity throughout the web in recent years.
The SPAM messages have mostly been in the form of advertising of
products/services. Sometimes these products / services are legitimate,
sometimes they are fraudulent trying to get victims to pay for products that don't
exist, or just trying to get user payment details (eg: credit card).
SPAM Phishing: SPAM is also
commonly used for Phishing (attempting to gain information (typically
passwords)) from the victim. This form of SPAM also seems to be on the
Other nefarious uses of SPAM include installing various forms of Malware and spreading worms (hence more SPAM) being
SPAM scams on the web: SPAM
scams on social network sites in particular, often appear legitimate and some may
find them difficult to detect.
Users need to be wary and analyse all messages accordingly. As mentioned
in an earlier news item, Malware On The Web,
be wary of websites that you visit, especially if referenced (linked) from a
SPAM type message.
Use security software and keep the software up to date. Try to use
software, and even a browser toolbar, than can help identify rouge messages and
It's generally advisable not to respond to suspicious messages, and to remove
them (permanently) straight away. If you receive a suspicious message from
someone you know, advise them as soon as possible as their address book may have
been compromised and other unsuspecting people may also receive the same message
An important tip is to not provide details, especially account details such as
passwords, in response to messages sent to your account. Most service
providers are aware of this SPAM phishing technique to collect user account
details. Hence such service providers generally aren't likely to send such a