According to the FTC, while two-thirds of most spam consumers receive in their in-boxes could be misleading, a bigger problem lies with deceptive sender addresses and subject lines that far exceed the number of phony offers found within the spam mailer.
Medium at risk
"E-mail is being hijacked," said Eileen
Though the study seems to indicate that the FTC doesn't need new spam-blocking legislation, Ms. Harrington said it's difficult to prove that the e-mail messages are more than just legally deceptive and that new laws could add safeguards.
As it readies for tomorrow's workshop, the FTC today offered some unusual insight from a sample of its own spam checks and the e-mails it was forwarded from consumers.
According to the FTC, while about 40% of spam e-mails contain text that appears deceptive (the numbers are far higher for business opportunities), 44% of spam e-mails use a fraudulent subject or sender address to get consumers to open the message or hide senders identities.
Phony 'from' addresses
About a third of all spam contains phony "from" addresses, with half masquerading as messages from friends. Again the numbers were higher for some kind of offers than others.
Subject lines in the e-mails are misleadingly false 22% of the time and 42% of those falsely suggest the sender knows or has a business relationship with the recipient. The recurrence of false subject lines was even higher, almost 33%, in spams about adult subjects.