UK Surfers Most Likely To Get Scammed, US Most Likely To Get Spammed

The Register reports that a worldwide survey of spam showed the majority of 419 scams are sent to residents living in the United Kingdom.

A 419 scam (419 referring to the article of the Nigerian Criminal Code that deals with fraud, “Obtaining Property by false pretences; Cheating") is usually in the form of either a letter or an email. You’ll get an email from someone (probably from a country you’ve never heard of) claiming they’ve been minding three or four squillion dollars for a diseased dictator who’s entire family has been wiped out in one fell swoop. They’ll ask you for either a small sum of money with the promise of said three or four squillion in a couple of weeks or they’ll ask you for no money at all and instead only require your bank details to transfer the money.

The research, which was sponsored by McAfee, also concluded that those living in the U.S. are more susceptible to spam than any other country. An experiment was carried out in which 50 people from various countries surfed the web unprotected for a month. In total, the 50 surfers received over 100,000 pieces of spam with the UK accounting for 11,965 emails (placing fifth in the ranks) and the US garnering 23,233 unsolicited emails and ranking top of the list for spam.

Previously spam has largely been in English, however McAfee claims that non-English spam is on the rise and while spam was lowest in France and Germany, these two countries were the main targets for spam in foreign languages.

The Register: UK Most Popular Destination for 419 Scams