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OFT Warns of Overseas SPAM

Posted: 10th Mar, 2005 By: MarkJ
The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has warned that UK Internet surfers are being increasingly targeted by phishers, spammers and scammers from overseas. The report includes some useful anti-SPAM/Scam tips:

Over 70 law-enforcement agencies across 26 countries joined forces last month in the first ever coordinated sweep of the worldwide web for scammers using spam to target consumers (see PN 34/05). This was also the first time that ICPEN has linked up with the signatories of the London Action Plan (LAP) (note 2), a dedicated network of spam enforcement agencies, and the computer industry.

The OFT will use the sweep results to develop strategies, in conjunction with domestic and overseas partners in the public and private sectors, to combat spammers and reduce harm to consumers and legitimate e-commerce.


* watch out for claims of lottery winnings, work schemes that guarantee success, cheap loans and 'free' gifts

* don't send any money up front to claim prizes or winnings

* never hand over your personal or bank details

* don't trust testimonials from 'previous winners' or people who claim to have benefited from the offers

* use a spam filter - often available with your email package

* protect your email address - never share it with people you don't know on the internet.

If consumers believe they have been the victims of e-mail scams they can report it to their local trading standards department or at http://www.econsumer.gov , ICPEN's global online database for cross-border complaints.

The OFT estimates that spam accounts for over 70% of all bulk e-mail traffic on the Internet.
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