What is spam? The 5 examples you need to know (2023)


A famous 1970 Monty Python sketch depicted spam, a brand of corned beef fed to American troops during World War II, as irritating, repetitive, and impossible to avoid. Nearly half a century later, that description perfectly characterizes an entirely different type of spam: email spam.

Key socket:Spam is an unsolicited email message that is automatically sent to a large number of addresses at once. Spam is commonly known as email spam and is used primarily for advertising purposes, although some hackers may also use it to spread malware.Read on to learn more about the most common types of spam and ways to identify spam emails.

  • What is it?
  • spam examples
  • how to recognize spam
  • How can you protect yourself?

Principal:Never see a spam message again.buy antivirus programsfor a clean and streamlined inbox.

What is spam?

Spam is a generic term for all unsolicited messages sent through electronic messaging systems. While it can apply to everything from instant messaging and text messages to Internet forums and social networks, the term spam is most commonly associated with email messages. Email spam, also known as junk email, involves sending messages to multiple addresses at the same time, usually for promotional purposes.

The main reason why Internet marketers use email spam to promote their products and services is the profitability of this method. Instead of investing thousands in marketing campaigns and banners on popular websites, they can collect email addresses from public sources as well as their customer databases and send a promotional email to all these addresses in just few minutes. If only a small part of the email recipients do not want to buy the product, the marketing specialists will obtain a significant profit.

Not all email spam is commercial. Cybercriminals can also use spam to distribute malicious software and steal personal information from unsuspecting targets. They do this by inserting legitimate-looking links that direct recipients to fake login pages that collect their data, as well as legitimate-looking websites that host malware. In recent years, hackers have begun using spam email and malware to sneak into entire computer networks and create botnets, which can then be used to attack other networks and websites.

After more than two decades of steady growth, the global volume of spam has been declining since 2014. As of April 2018, spam accounted for nearly half of all email exchanged globally. With billions of messages sent every day, email spam costs US citizens more than $20 billion a year in lost productivity. Commercial spam, while irritating, is perfectly legal as long as the content is not fraudulent. On the other hand, malicious spam emails are considered cyber crimes and can lead to fines and imprisonment.

spam examples

There are at least a few dozen types of spam, ranging from adult content spam promoting fake Viagra and malicious adult websites, to gift and prize spam notifying the recipient of a prize won and containing malicious links where they can claim their price. Some of the most common types of email spam are:

(Video) Understanding Spam and Phishing

  1. PayPal-Spam

Whether you use PayPal or not, you've probably received at least one spam message from PayPal. In it, a spammer impersonates PayPal and tells you that you need to log into your account and authorize some recent changes. If you click on the link provided below the message, you will be redirected to a fake PayPal login page created by the spammer to steal your password and withdraw funds from your account.

  1. Bounced email spam

If you send an email to a non-existent or inactive email address, you will usually receive an acknowledgment in your inbox. However, if you receive a non-delivery confirmation for a message you don't remember sending, it's probably a fake message. Spammers can also attach a malicious file and try to trick you into opening it by claiming it contains their original message. Doing so could inadvertently install malware on your computer, giving the attacker access to your browsing history and personal information.

  1. fake reply spam

Fake reply spam messages use the prefix "Re:" in the subject line to make you believe you are receiving a reply to an email you may have previously sent. However, once you open it, you will see a message that is not related to the subject line. Instead, it often contains a poorly written promotional offer with calls to action and links that can lead you to malicious websites.

  1. Spam-Social-Media

If you sign up for email notifications from social media platforms, you may have been tricked by social media spam in the past. These emails are in the format of real emails and inform you of new messages, likes and comments on your social media profile. Like PayPal spam, these messages also contain a link that takes you to a fake login page designed to steal credentials from unsuspecting victims.

  1. Rolex-spam

Rolex spam has been around for over a decade and is perhaps the most common type of spam. These emails often lead to malicious websites where, as stated in the messages, recipients can buy new Rolex watches at incredibly low prices. Spammers often send these emails on holidays, especially Thanksgiving and Black Friday. This way, potential victims may not be able to distinguish them from genuine promotional emails and end up simply clicking the link.

    how to recognize spam

    Spam messages are often so well structured that they can be very difficult to distinguish from legitimate emails. While there is no sure way to identify spam, the following tips may help:


    • Check spelling and grammar.If a message is misspelled, misspelled, or appears to have been automatically translated from another language, it's probably a spam message.
    • Look carefully at the return address.Spammers often pose as legitimate institutions to gain access to your data. By doing so, they sometimes create a fake email address that looks just like the real one. For example, a spam email from PayPal can be sent from an address ending in @paypai.com. The difference is almost impossible to tell unless you take a close look at the address, which you should do before opening any links.
    • Don't be fooled by unrealistic claims.If you get an offer to buy a new Rolex diver's watch for, say, $1,000, you're definitely looking at a spam message, since those watches cost at least 10 times as much. Whenever you receive an email offer to buy a product at an outrageously low price, check the full price of the product to determine if the offer is legitimate.
    • Check the links.Spammers often use URL shorteners to disguise links to malicious websites contained in their emails. Some links also redirect to a file instead of an address, which is a telltale sign of a scam email. Review each link before opening it.

      How to protect yourself from spam

      There's no way to prevent spam, but you can prevent your inbox from being cluttered withright choice of antispam software. All of these programs have built-in filters that use software intelligence to detect spam messages and move them from your inbox to your spam folder. Even if these filters miss a message, you can mark it as spam so that all similar emails are automatically filtered in the future.

      In addition to being used for advertising purposes, many spam messages also contain links to malicious websites and software. For optimal security, never click on links sent from unknown addresses or open suspicious attachments. If an email contains links to a registration page, please verify that the page is legitimate before providing your personal information. Otherwise, hackers can gain access to your credentials and use them to lock down their own accounts and impersonate you online.

      Since some spam emails contain links and attachments that automatically download malicious software to your computer without your consent, it's important to use the best antivirus software.(AsNorton,Bitdefender,wholeoPanda)to keep your data safe. These programs detect all potential threats and provide easy options to quarantine, restore, or delete infected files. For an added layer of protection, you can also set them to run regular scans and automatically check for database updates.


        (Video) Spam As Fast As Possible

        What is spam? The 5 examples you need to know (1)

        (Video) Explained: Spam vs Phishing

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        (Video) CAN-SPAM Act of 2003: Email Marketing and SPAM - What you need to know


        What is spam examples? ›

        Spam is any unsolicited communication sent in bulk. Usually sent via email, spam is also distributed through text messages (SMS), social media, or phone calls. Spam messages often come in the form of harmless (though annoying) promotional emails. But sometimes spam is a fraudulent or malicious scam.

        What is spam Class 5? ›

        Spam is any kind of unwanted, unsolicited digital communication that gets sent out in bulk. Often spam is sent via email, but it can also be distributed via text messages, phone calls, or social media.

        Which of these are an example of spam *? ›

        Ads. This is one of the most common types of spam. I bet you've already received several unsolicited emails offering products and services, such as weight loss pills and tennis offers. In many cases it may be a scam but the offer may also be real.

        What types of spam are there? ›

        15 Flavors of SPAM and Counting
        • Spam Teriyaki. I almost always grill my Spam in a light teriyaki glaze, which prepares it for usage in Asian dishes like stir-fry or musubi (for which there is a recipe on the back of the Spam Teriyaki can). ...
        • Spam With Real Hormel Bacon. ...
        • Spam Chorizo. ...
        • Spam Hot and Spicy.
        Mar 28, 2018

        What is in spam stand for? ›

        They mentioned that SPAM stands for "Specially Processed American Meat".

        What are 3 effects of spam? ›

        Those seemingly harmless links and attachments can pose a real threat to your business, hiding ransomware, spyware, and trojans, which allow the attacker to gain access to the computer and then to the entire company's network.

        How do you identify spam? ›

        How to identify spam and phishing emails
        1. Tip 1: Name of Sender. Pay attention to the name of the sender, and the name before the "@" symbol in the email address. ...
        2. Tip 2: Domain Name. ...
        3. Tip 3: Check Spelling and Grammar. ...
        4. Tip 4: Generic Greetings. ...
        5. Tip 5: Urgency. ...
        6. Tip 6: Don't Click Links. ...
        7. Tip 7: Personal Information.

        Can you give an example of a spam email? ›

        The email might read something like, “We've updated our login credential policy. Please confirm your account by logging into Google Docs.” The sender's email is a faked Google email address, accountupdate@google.org.com.

        Why spam is spam? ›

        Email SPAM, also referred to as junk email or simply SPAM, is unsolicited messages sent in bulk by email, also known as “spamming.” The name comes from a Monty Python sketch, (watch it, below!) where the name of the canned pork product, SPAM, is annoying and unavoidable. Just like SPAM email.

        What causes spam? ›

        Spam emails are almost always commercial and driven by a financial motive. Spammers try to promote and sell questionable goods, make false claims and deceive recipients into believing something that's not true.

        What is spam crime? ›

        Spamming is the use of messaging systems to send multiple unsolicited messages (spam) to large numbers of recipients for the purpose of commercial advertising, for the purpose of non-commercial proselytizing, for any prohibited purpose (especially the fraudulent purpose of phishing), or simply repeatedly sending the ...

        What is the most common use of spam? ›

        Phishing is the most common form of spam. It's typically delivered through an email, chat, web ad or website that has been designed to impersonate a real person or organization. Phishing messages deliver a sense of urgency or fear to persuade the user to give up their data.

        What are other names for Spam? ›

        junk mail
        • circular.
        • direct mail.
        • spam.
        • third-class mail.
        • unsolicited mail.

        What are the 6 ingredients in Spam? ›

        Six Simple Ingredients
        • PORK WITH HAM.
        • SALT.
        • WATER.
        • POTATO STARCH.
        • SUGAR.

        What two words make spam? ›

        Although lore behind the name Spam varies, Hormel himself claimed the product was named for a combination of the words "spice" and "ham," despite the fact that neither ingredient appears in Spam.

        What is spam on your cell phone? ›

        Spam refers to messages which are unsolicited and unwanted. Usually, spam texts are not coming from another phone. They mainly originate from a computer and are sent to your phone via an email address or instant messaging account. Because they are sent online, they are cheap and easy for scammers to send.

        How can spam be prevented? ›

        When signing up for forums, offers and other public services never use your work email address. If it doesn't break the terms of use, consider using disposable email addresses. If the terms prohibit the use of disposable emails, use free email services that include spam filtering. Never click on links in a spam email.

        How do spammers find you? ›

        Spammers often release information-gathering programs called “bots” to collect the names and e-mail addresses of people who post to specific newsgroups. Bots can get this information from both recent and old posts.

        What are two main signs of spam emails? ›

        10 Most Common Signs of a Phishing Email
        • An Unfamiliar Tone or Greeting. ...
        • Grammar and Spelling Errors. ...
        • Inconsistencies in Email Addresses, Links & Domain Names. ...
        • Threats or a Sense of Urgency. ...
        • Suspicious Attachments. ...
        • Unusual Request. ...
        • Short and Sweet. ...
        • Recipient Did Not Initiate the Conversation.

        Is it better to block or delete spam? ›

        If you receive any unwanted email, the best approach in almost every case is to delete it immediately. It is often clear from the Subject line that a message is junk, so you may not even need to open the message to read it.

        What is spam in social media? ›

        Spam is unnecessary, unwanted, or repetitive content that clogs inboxes and clutters social media feeds. The term “spam” has been used to refer to junk messages since the earliest days of the Internet.

        How do spammers get my email address? ›

        Professional spammers rely on bots that crawl millions of websites and scrape addresses from pages. Other spammers get email addresses by approaching sellers on underground cybercrime forums, or in open-air markets where addresses are found in mailing lists, websites, chat rooms, and domain contact points.

        Why would you want to keep your email private? ›

        Your email address is one of your most valuable assets. With it, criminals and scammers can launch phishing attacks against you, and impersonate you to friends, family, and acquaintances in order to trick them. It's good practice to keep your email address private from anyone who doesn't absolutely need to know it.

        Is spam a risk? ›

        Spam calls are more pervasive than ever, and not only are they annoying—they're potentially dangerous. An estimated US$29.8 billion was lost to phone scams in 2021 alone, heeding that little “Spam Risk” label could literally save your money.

        What is spam behavior? ›

        Sending large numbers of unsolicited replies or mentions. Purchasing or attempting to artificially inflate account interactions (such as followers, Retweets, likes, etc.)

        Is a spam a type of virus? ›

        Is spam a virus? In the general sense, no. Spam is not a virus. However, some spam emails or messages may include phishing or malware (a form of virus) that can harm your device.

        Who created spam? ›

        Hormel Foods Corporation

        What are the 15 different flavors of spam? ›

        The 15 flavors of SPAM

        The twelve that followed were Hot & Spicy, Jalapeño, Garlic, SPAM with Bacon, Oven Roasted Turkey, SPAM Lite, Teriyaki, Chorizo, SPAM with 25% Less Sodium, Black Pepper, Portuguese Sausage, and SPAM with Tocino, which is a Filipino-style bacon.

        What is the most common type of spam? ›


        Phishing is the most common form of spam. It's typically delivered through an email, chat, web ad or website that has been designed to impersonate a real person or organization. Phishing messages deliver a sense of urgency or fear to persuade the user to give up their data.

        What is the new kind of spam? ›

        Portuguese Sausage spam is among Hormel's Newest flavors of Spam. When I was growing up we used one kind of Spam in our musubi, the original one. Today, the shelves are stocked with many different varieties of Spam, the newest, Portuguese Sausage Spam inspired by Hawaii's favorite breakfast sausage.

        What is a healthier version of spam? ›

        Heavy on the flavor, light on the other stuff. This variety offers the scrumptiousness of SPAM® Classic with 33% less calories, 50% less fat, and 25% less sodium, which means you can enjoy the taste you love more often. It's the perfect SPAM® variety for swimsuit season.

        Where is Spam most popular? ›

        Residents of the state of Hawaii have the highest per capita consumption in the United States, bringing in sales of 7 million cans of SPAM per year. Its perception there is very different from on the mainland. Hawaiians sometimes call it "Portagee Steak".

        Why is Spam called Spam? ›

        Email spam, also referred to as junk email, spam mail, or simply spam, is unsolicited messages sent in bulk by email (spamming). The name comes from a Monty Python sketch in which the name of the canned pork product Spam is ubiquitous, unavoidable, and repetitive.

        How do you identify different spam? ›

        Look out for typos, numbers or symbols in the subject line

        Cryptic or obviously poorly translated sentences or phrases are another clue. In an attempt to fool spam filters, spammers sometimes use words with some letters replaced by symbols or numbers – like “d!et” instead of “diet”.

        How to avoid spam? ›

        When signing up for forums, offers and other public services never use your work email address. If it doesn't break the terms of use, consider using disposable email addresses. If the terms prohibit the use of disposable emails, use free email services that include spam filtering. Never click on links in a spam email.

        What is illegal spam? ›

        Whether a message is spam does not answer whether it is illegal. In fact, SPAM IS LEGAL in the United States. That is, whether your email is solicited or unsolicited, and whether it is highly targeted or not, have nothing to do with legality under U.S. law.

        What was the first spam? ›

        May 3rd, 1978: a guy named Gary Thuerk. He was the marketing manager at Digital Equipment Company. Sent what is widely recognized as the first spam ever — a message trying to sell computers. Only went to 300-some people who were on ARPANET, which eventually became the Internet.

        What is ghost spam? ›

        Ghost spam hijacks your Google Analytics ID (ex: UA-XXXXXXX-XX) and plops a fake visit in your analytics report. These visits don't interact with your site at all, however, they bypass your site by requests of HTTP/HTTPS interactions to Google's servers saying they did. This is why it's called “Ghost Spam.”

        What is Spam bad for? ›

        Spam is a type of processed meat, and thus eating it may be associated with a higher risk of diabetes, heart disease, COPD, high blood pressure and certain types of cancer.

        What is Spam made out of? ›

        What sets Spam apart from other products that are made from chopped meats that are cooked and pressed together (we're thinking about scrapple): Spam is made from pork shoulder and pork ham, with no other scraps from the hog. Pork shoulder is considered a high-quality cut of pork today, although in 1937, it was not.

        Is all Spam the same? ›

        Today, there are 15 different SPAM varieties, from Classic to Teriyaki to Jalapeño. Love it or hate it, you can't deny that it's everywhere.


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