According to AOL's 3rd Annual Top Ten Spam List, spammers are getting more sophisticated, devious and dangerous - really?
I mean, AOL has just released a list of the top 10 subject lines used in unsolicited commercial emails - and if people fall for them is because they want. There's nothing sophisticated on these lines:
1) Donald Trump Wants You - Please Respond (popular recognition)
2) Double Standards New Product - Penis Patch (sexually oriented spam)
3) Body Wrap: Lose 6-20 inches in one hour (body improvement products)
4) Get an Apple iPod Nano, PS3 or Xbox 360 for Free (technology offers)
5) It's Lisa, I must have sent you to the wrong site ("personalized" correspondence)
6) Breaking Stock News** Small Cap Issue Poised to Triple (stock scams)
7) Thank you for your business. Shipment notification (77FD87) (bogus transactional spam)
8) (IMPORTANT) Your Mortgage Application is Ready (mortgage-related scams)
9) Thank you: Your $199 Rolex Special Included (high-end "deals")
10) Online Prescriptions Made Easy (pharmaceutical)
According to AOL, this year's analysis of hundreds of billions of attempted spam messages targeting AOL's global email customers finds that spammers are using more "special order" style subject lines. In fact, six in 10 of the top subject lines this year fall into this category, compared with just two in 2004, and none in 2003.
Instead of generic pitches for products, "SOS" (special order spam) attempts to trick the consumer by pretending to be from a friend, or part of a legitimate, customer-driven transaction. For example, this year's Top 10 spam list features "Your Mortgage Application is Ready"; another claims to have sent "you to the wrong site," and others simply say "Thank you" or "Re: " as if they are responding to the recipient.
I really think this is old news. I remember this being one of the first things to raise flags when I scan the subjects on my inbox - and I've been doing this for years.