Data acquired by Atlas VPN shows that health-related spam emails was the most common category of spam last year. In 2019, 39% of spam emails were promoting fake pharmaceuticals and health cures.
Industry practices show that the number of health-related spam emails is expected to grow dramatically this year. Last week, Gmail warned their customers to use the service with caution: of a total 100 million spam emails Gmail reports daily, 18 million of them were coronavirus-themed.
Rachel Welsh, COO of Atlas VPN, shares her insights why emails offering health-related products are so common:
“Hackers are targeting the older generation that sometimes is skeptical of traditional medicine. As well, they are aware that a large portion of older people are using email services and take advantage of the fact it is easy to impersonate an actual service. It is no surprise the number will have increased by the end of 2020, but I expect it to rise by a few hundred percents.”
Last year, the number of extortion scams increased from 0% in 2018 to 10% in 2019. Last week, the FBI announced they are receiving more extortion emails than usual.
In 2019, the most common type of malware-infected files sent through email was Microsoft Office Word or Excel files. It is likely that Google Docs or Microsoft Word files are the future of phishing since it lets hackers steal more information than setting up a fake, malware-infected website would.