Scams, spams: it’s hardly cricket

(This is the Online column, written for The Southland Times)

HeartsValentine’s Day is nearly upon us and it looks like the scammers see the day as a perfect opportunity to rip people off.

And you thought romance was dead.

Symantec has been keeping an eye on what’s happening in the world of online scams and reckons Valentine’s Day and the cricket World Cup have got all the spammers and scammers busy.

I suppose you’d need something of interest to do while the cricket’s on and at least the possibility of getting ripped off is likely to be exciting. Unlike cricket, which (according to some of the people I work with) is a sport. However, I’m not convinced.

Apart from the “is cricket a sport or a way of making drying paint and growing grass seem exciting” debate, I’m keeping a close watch on my email inbox in the hope that my usual spam collection might get a little more interesting. I reckon spammers have become quite lazy, with the same old subject lines over and over again making for a boring array of spam.

Although, I suppose the “increase the size of your package” deals might fit in (no pun intended) with the Valentine’s Day theme.

Apparently, Tuesday was Safer Internet Day and we’ve got Scam Awareness Week to look forward to at the end of the month (February 28 to March 4) so make sure you keep yourself safe online and be aware of the scams that are doing the rounds.

As an aside, who comes up with all these themed days and weeks? There are so many of them now it’s almost impossible to keep track of them all, and many of them seem to be quite similar. Maybe we should have a Send Your Local Internet Columnist $20 Week, or a Taser Appreciation Day.

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