The Internet presents many opportunities for con-artists and fraudsters. Internet security experts Message Labs have been examining the threats over the years.

We all know about spam, we all get in our inboxes. Unsolicited junk email is a battle still being wrestled with, and amazingly it is still on the increase.

9% of all emails were identified as spam in 2002. A year later that had risen to 40%. And in 2005, a mailbox-busting 73% of all e-mail was spam – that is 9.2 billion junk messages!

What do you think most spam is about?

Unsurprisingly, most of it is trying to sell us something. The vast majority of spam is sent from 200 or so spammers, most of them based in the US. They’re trying to sell you pornographic material, cheap watches, that sort of thing.
But there is some hope. New anti-spam laws and some high-profile spammer arrests could see these figures slowing and even starting to come down.

But this could also mean that spammers will simply move their operations into countries with weaker regulation, like Russia or China.

Apart from being a nuisance and hogging storage space, most spam is relatively harmless. Some, however, is far more destructive.