AOL Details Its 2005 Spam Fighting Efforts

America Online is out today with their third annual top ten spam list as well as some numbers on how much spam their users had to put up with. This data reveals some interesting items about what AOL users are targeted with and how effective AOL’s anti-spam efforts are.

The top ten spam subject lines that AOL users received in 2005 are:

  1. Donald Trump Wants You – Please Respond (popular recognition)
  2. Double Standards New Product – Penis Patch (sexually oriented spam)
  3. Body Wrap: Lose 6-20 inches in one hour (body improvement products)
  4. Get an Apple iPod Nano, PS3 or Xbox 360 for Free (technology offers)
  5. It’s Lisa, I must have sent you to the wrong site (“personalized” correspondence)
  6. Breaking Stock News** Small Cap Issue Poised to Triple (stock scams)
  7. Thank you for your business. Shipment notification (77FD87) (bogus transactional spam)
  8. (IMPORTANT) Your Mortgage Application is Ready (mortgage-related scams)
  9. Thank you: Your $199 Rolex Special Included (high-end “deals”)
  10. Online Prescriptions Made Easy (pharmaceutical)

As for AOL’s anti-spam efforts, the company claimed spam reaching their membership remained at low levels in 2005, with a decline of more than 75% since a peak in late 2003. AOL said they’d been blocking an average of 1.5 billion spam messages each day this year, which amounts in total to about 80% of the 556 billion that were received in 2005.

“Spammers have been on a year-long mission to mislead and deceive in 2005,” said Charles Stiles, AOL’s Postmaster – who helps direct AOL’s 24/7/365 spam fighting unit. “While the volume of spam reaching AOL email inboxes has remained at low levels compared to it’s height in late 2003, the spam that’s out there is more insidious, crafty, devious, and dangerous than ever. So when it comes to protecting your in box, consumers should adopt a ‘code red’ mentality for 2006, because ultimately their personal identity is at stake.” 

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