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Report Confirms It: We Get a Lot of Robocalls

Americans got 26.3B of them last year, up from 18B in 2017

(Newser) - If it seems like you're getting a lot more robocalls than you used to—it's because you are, the Washington Post reports. A report released Tuesday by spam-monitoring service Hiya found that Americans received about 26.3 billion robocalls last year. That's an astonishing 46% increase from... More »

Watch Out for Strange Google Docs Links

There's a major phishing scam going on

(Newser) - Beware any offer to share a Google Docs file, even if that offer appears to have been sent by someone you know. The Los Angeles Times reports thousands of people were targeted by a phishing scam Wednesday. The scam starts with an email with a link to a Google Docs... More »

Where Does Spam Come From? This Guy, Allegedly

The FBI raided Michael Persaud's house in April

(Newser) - There's a decent chance Michael Alexander Persaud has sent you some spam. According to the FBI, which raided Persaud's San Diego home in late April, the 39-year-old is able to send a million unsolicited emails in less than 15 minutes, ABC News reports. Authorities have been investigating Persaud... More »

Writer Checks Spam Folder, Learns She Won $150K

Who wouldn't think a 'good news' email asking for a phone number was a hoax?

(Newser) - For those of you who blindly delete the emails that get sent to your junk folder, witness the story of Helen Garner. The Australian writer checked the contents of that folder last week and read one that smacked of a hoax: A Yale University employee had "good news" and... More »

Is That Mystery Number a Scammer? Galaxy S7 Knows

Thanks to partnership with Whitepages

(Newser) - About to buy the new Galaxy S7? Your contact list just got a whole lot bigger. Samsung and Whitepages are announcing a partnership that packs caller ID, spam and scam detection, and even a nearby business search directly into the native dialer, reports Engadget . This means that an incoming call... More »

Smartphone Spammer Gets 27 Months

Indiana man was behind millions of messages

(Newser) - An Indiana man who helped send millions of illegal spam messages to US and international cellphones and computers has been sentenced to 27 months in federal prison by a federal judge in Pennsylvania. Phillip Fleitz, 31, of Indianapolis, was handcuffed and ordered Monday to immediately begin serving the sentence, the... More »

This 'Spam King' Has Likely Sent You a Message

And that's why Sanford Wallace is facing jail time

(Newser) - You may not be familiar with the name Sanford Wallace, but there's a decent chance he's sent you a message a time or two. The 47-year-old self-anointed "Spam King" has pleaded guilty to accessing Facebook servers and sending out more than 27 million messages to users, reports... More »

Bee Scientist Finds $140K Email—in His Spam Folder

The National Science Foundation award for Charlie C. Nicholson was actually real

(Newser) - Maybe you should open up that next "Lucky Winner!" email you get and not automatically dump it in the trash. Because for University of Vermont researcher Charlie C. Nicholson, his spam folder turned out to hold more than the usual dream-job and porn messages. On Tuesday, the National... More »

Social Media Spam Up 355% This Year Alone

Facebook, YouTube most prone

(Newser) - Spammers are increasingly setting their sights beyond your email account. In the first half of this year, spam on social media has increased 355%, a new report finds. It's not exactly overwhelming (especially in light of the fact that some 70% of emails sent are spam), but spam accounts... More »

Instagram Under Spam Attack by ... Tropical Fruit

Facebook says it has secured spammed accounts, but you might want to change your password

(Newser) - Instagram has been hit by an attack from spammers promoting a miracle fruit diet. As a result, you may have seen a lot of (artfully filtered) photographs of tropical fruit in your feed today, and if those photos were coming from your account, you're going to need to change... More »

It's a Rough Day for Papa John's

Company faces lawsuit, boycott

(Newser) - One large pepperoni, a text-message scandal, and a boycott on the side, please. Papa John's is in the middle of a big mess on two fronts, one in court and one in the media. Here's a look at both:
  • Papa John's is in the midst of a
... More »

FTC Hangs Up on 'Rachel' Robocalls

Agency gets court to stop calls from fictional worker in 'cardholder services'

(Newser) - Poor Rachel. The FTC is clamping down on five telemarketing firms it says placed illegal robocalls, often claiming to be from a woman named "Rachel" who had an "important message" about high interest rates on credit cards, reports the Chicago Tribune . Yesterday, a federal court ordered a temporary... More »

The World's Worst Spammer Is ...

... India, where 7M new computer users crop up monthly

(Newser) - So you find your morning spam deluge annoying? Well, you can thank India, which has become the world's top sender of spam emails, the Los Angeles Times reports. Its poor law enforcement and burgeoning middle class—which adds about 7 million computers monthly—are largely behind the dubious distinction.... More »

55K Twitter Passwords Leaked

Puzzling hit, but most hacked tied to spammers or dupe accounts

(Newser) - The usernames and passwords of more than 55,000 Twitter tweeters were leaked online Monday in a data dump that has puzzled experts. Twitter says that at least 20,000 of the leaked accounts were duplicates, and many more were spam accounts that had already been suspended, InformationWeek reports. Password... More »

4.5B Spam Texts Flooded Our Phones Last Year

Consumers fume, FTC files lawsuits

(Newser) - Getting spam on your cell phone? You're not alone: Spam text messages in the US soared 45% to 4.5 billion last year, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. "I don't even get that much junk mail in my Gmail account," says a journalist in Washington, DC.... More »

NY Times Mistakenly Sends Email to 9M People

It was apparently just a miscue, not spam

(Newser) - Nearly 9 million people got a puzzling email from the New York Times today, but fears of a massive hack are apparently unfounded. Turns out, it was good old-fashioned human error. The newspaper meant to send the email only to a few hundred people who had recently canceled home delivery,... More »

Inventor of Microsoft's Spam Filter Out to Kill HIV

David Heckerman says spam, HIV present similar challenges

(Newser) - David Heckerman, the man who invented the spam filter for Microsoft, is taking on another scourge against humanity: HIV. Sound like a stretch? It’s not, Heckerman insists: He’s a medical doctor, and HIV and spam are strangely similar problems. "We have an adversarial situation going on between... More »

Facebook Slammed by Massive Porn Attack

Graphic, violent images flood news feeds

(Newser) - Forbes has a warning for you: "You may not want to check Facebook at work today." Why? Because, as numerous outlets are reporting , your news feed may have been inundated with porn and disturbing images thanks to a huge spam attack. One tweet sums it up: "... More »

Spammers Actually Deliver What You Order

Researchers surprised credit cards weren't abused

(Newser) - Researchers probing the world of spam were surprised to discover that the email-box-clogging lowlifes of the Internet aren't quite as scummy as one would expect. The investigators, whose study involved making numerous purchases from spammers, found that the goods ordered—including pills and fake Rolexes—were usually delivered, reports... More »

Finally! Study Discovers Way to Kill Spam

3 financial companies control most spam-prompted card payments

(Newser) - Researchers in California think they’ve found spammers’ weak point—and say it could be used to help kill off the industry. To make their discovery, the researchers spent months trying to attract all the spam they could before buying thousands of dollars worth of products advertised in those emails.... More »

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