Technology

Government warns about an increase in spam getting past filters

Andrew Sadauskas /

The Department of Communications is warning an increasing amount of spam emails are getting past filters and landing in users’ inbox, with employment scams particularly common.

The department said in a statement a number of spammers have tweaked their language or methods, meaning that messages that would otherwise have been filtered out are instead reaching users.

Major email providers such as Google’s Gmail, Yahoo! Mail and Microsoft’s Outlook.com are affected.

While email filters will catch up with the changes over the coming weeks, users are being advised to remain especially vigilant about unsolicited messages.

The department said users should be particularly wary about attachments where a user can’t verify the authenticity of the sender.

“In addition to scams, there is also a risk that attachments could be malicious, and if clicked, could install malware on your computer,” said the department.

“For example, one of the current spam messages contains the following: ‘Wujiang Zhaofeng Weaving Company solicits for International Representatives to overseas corporate functions abroad, if interested kindly contact attached for details’.”

“This example included a Microsoft Word document with ‘further information’, promising a job opportunity with a high income,” said the department.

“The requirements of the job included receiving payments from customers and forwarding this money onto the company. This particular scam involves laundering money from criminal activity by transferring it into your account, so could potentially leave you liable to criminal prosecution.”

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Andrew Sadauskas

Andrew Sadauskas is a former journalist at SmartCompany and a former editor of TechCompany.

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