Scams and fraud spam emails are on the increase in the Asia Pacific region, according to the latest spam report from Symantec. However, image spam emails are dropping off.

Overall spam emails continue to make up about 65 percent of all email traffic. Scams and fraud spam has risen from 9 percent of overall spam to 13 percent in May.

According to Symantec senior director of anti-abuse engineering, Doug Bowers, “This upward trend is indicative of the continued shift in spammer behaviour to targeted, financially-motivated attacks and the success that they are generating.”

Scams spam accounts for 17 percent of all spam attacks in the Asia Pacific and Japan (APJ) region. This compares with a global figure of 9 percent for this type of spam.

“Symantec has observed an increase in fraud and scams globally, particularly in the APJ region. This could be due in part to the prominence of invoice spam in that region. With invoice spam, spammers will create fake invoices associated with ‘legitimate’ companies and try to sell them to generate profits.  It’s a trend we’ll continue to monitor to see if it spreads worldwide.” 

On the upside though, image spam is on a downward trend, dropping t o 16 percent of overall spam, down from 27 and 37 percent in the months of April and March respectively, and 52 percent when it peaked in January.

Said Bowers, “The drop in image spam this year has been significant. It’s clear that spammers are focusing on other techniques such as using links to hosted images to try and get their messages through.  Spammers are always going to follow the money.”

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