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Mortgage Spam Jumps in Response to Fed Rate Cut

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RISMEDIA, Feb. 1, 2008-Spam about mortgage refinancing jumped to 10% of all spam in the past week in conjunction with the recent interest rate cuts by the US Federal Reserve, according to research by Commtouch. Further changes expected to be announced today may spur even more finance-related spam – always a favorite subject among spammers even when interest rates are high.

Millions of US mortgages have become eligible for refinancing as a result of the lowered interest rates announced by the Federal Reserve last week.

The huge increase in mortgage spam also has a flip-side: a potential problem with obstructed legitimate e-mail messages, known as false positives. E-mail correspondence between banks and their customers may be delayed or blocked by over-zealous anti-spam technologies which have difficulty differentiating between valid mortgage-related mail and the flood of finance-related spam.

“Now that market conditions have created fervor among homeowners wishing to refinance their mortgages, cyber criminals are taking advantage by sending more mortgage-themed spam,” said Amir Lev, Commtouch’s chief technology officer. “Loan officers and their customers need to be particularly cautious since some content-based e-mail filtering tools used by banks and consumers may block legitimate e-mail messages, disrupting the communication chain.”

During the fourth quarter of 2007, finance-related spam was only 2% of all spam subjects.

For more information, visit http://www.commtouch.com.

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